History beyond the clouds: 1968 Earthrise photo and lunar landing images among 600 snaps being sold


It was a photo of Earth which put human existence into perspective.

The 1968 ‘Earthrise’ image, which was taken by astronauts from NASA’s Apollo 8 mission, showed our planet as it looked from 240,000 miles away – a blue and white ball rising above the grey landscape of the moon and surrounded by pitch black.

Now, an original copy of the photograph is among more than 600 images being sold which document mankind’s first ventures into space.  

The prints chronicle expeditions all the way up to the late 1990s and are in fine original condition. 

They are to be sold by auctioneers Dreweatts of Newbury, Berkshire. The firm compiled the collection from several unnamed vendors. 

Also seen among the collection is the first man to make it into space, Russian Yuri Gagarin, as well as his female counterpart Valentina Tereshkova.

And the first primate to be blasted into space – Ham the chimpanzee – is seen with fear etched into its eyes during his 1961 mission.

Ania Hanrahan, Dreweatts’ autographs and ephemera specialist, said: ‘These are iconic images that are sure to draw interest from around the globe. They will appeal to historians, space and photography aficionados and private collectors.

‘There will also be those just wanting to obtain a true piece of history. The sale takes place on March 17.

‘Earthrise’ – 1968 

It was a photo of Earth which put human existence into perspective. The 1968 ‘Earthrise’ image, which was taken by astronauts from NASA’s Apollo 8 mission, showed our planet as it looked from 240,000 miles away – a blue and white ball rising above the grey landscape of the moon and surrounded by pitch black. Now, an original copy of the photograph is among more than 600 images being sold by auctioneers Dreweatts of Newbury, Berkshire

On December 24, 1968, American astronaut William Anders took what is widely regarded to be one of the most famous photographs in history. 

The image, which has come to be known as Earthrise, is the first colour photograph of Earth taken by humans.

The scene was observed by the crew of Nasa’s Apollo 8 mission, which is still considered to be the American space agency’s most dangerous undertaking.

The photograph is expected to sell for between £3,000 and £5,000.  

During their mission, the three-man crew orbited the moon ten times and took pictures. They were under orders to get photographs of potential lunar landing sites. 

A year later, in 1969, the crew of Apollo 11 landed on the moon for the first time. 

Earthrise – 1966 

Two years before the Apollo 11 mission, the black and white precursor to the famous colour image of earth was taken by Nasa’s Lunar Orbiter 1. 

The unmanned vehicle was the first US-made robotic spacecraft to orbit the moon.

The black and white image which was taken is the very first photograph of the earth rising above the moon’s horizon. 

It is estimated to fetch between £800 and £1,200 at auction.  

Two years before the Apollo 11 mission, the black and white precursor to the famous colour image of earth was taken by Nasa's Lunar Orbiter 1. The unmanned vehicle was the first US-made robotic spacecraft to orbit the moon. The black and white image which was taken is the very first photograph of the earth rising above the moon's horizon. It is estimated to fetch between £800 and £1,200 at auction

Two years before the Apollo 11 mission, the black and white precursor to the famous colour image of earth was taken by Nasa’s Lunar Orbiter 1. The unmanned vehicle was the first US-made robotic spacecraft to orbit the moon. The black and white image which was taken is the very first photograph of the earth rising above the moon’s horizon. It is estimated to fetch between £800 and £1,200 at auction 

US astronaut Ed White during a spacewalk – 1965

During Nasa’s Gemini 4 mission on June 3, 1965, Ed White performed the very first spacewalk by an American astronaut.

The image, taken by his colleague James McDivitt, is both the first still photograph taken of a human in space and the first image of a human in space which was taken by another human.

Until that point, all released images of astronauts had been taken by television or monitoring cameras. 

White is seen during his historic 23-minute space walk in which he was attached to his spacecraft by a 25ft tether line 

The image is expected to fetch between £1,000 and £2,000.   

American astronaut Ed White on the Gemini 4 mission from 1965. He is seen during his historic 23-minute space walk in which he was attached to his spacecraft by a 25ft tether line. It is estimated to fetch between £1,000 and £2,000

American astronaut Ed White on the Gemini 4 mission from 1965. He is seen during his historic 23-minute space walk in which he was attached to his spacecraft by a 25ft tether line. It is estimated to fetch between £1,000 and £2,000

The first man and woman in space – 1961 and 1963 

The Soviet Union’s 1961 mission saw their astronaut Yuri Gagarin become the first man and human to reach space. 

The craft which got him out of Earth’s orbit, the Vostok 3KA space capsule, was launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome, in what is modern-day Kazakhstan but was then part of the Soviet Union, on April 12, 1961. 

The flight saw Gagarin’s craft complete a single orbit around Earth during which it skimmed the upper atmosphere.

From launch to landing, the flight took 108 minutes. 

Gagarin is seen in the below image during the mission.

In the same lot of photos is a photograph taken two years later of female Russian astronaut Valentina Tereshkova.

At the age of just 26, Tereshkova, who is now 83, became the first and youngest woman to reach space.

She spent nearly three days outside of the Earth’s atmosphere and remains the only woman to have completed a solo space mission. 

The lot which both photographs are featured in is expected to sell for between £300-500.   

Russian Yuri Gagarin's 1961 mission saw him become the first man and human in space. He is seen above in his space suit before he was blasted into space

Russian Yuri Gagarin’s 1961 mission saw him become the first man and human in space. He is seen above in his space suit before he was blasted into space

Russian astronaut Valentina Tereshkova became in 1963 the first woman in space. She is seen above during her mission. This image is among 14 in a lot which is estimated to sell for between £300-£500

Russian astronaut Valentina Tereshkova became in 1963 the first woman in space. She is seen above during her mission. This image is among 14 in a lot which is estimated to sell for between £300-£500

A nearly full moon – 1968 

This incredibly detailed picture of the moon was taken by the crew of Apollo 8 during their journey back to Earth.

It is the first image taken by a human from a previously inaccessible perspective – the side of the moon not visible to humans from Earth.

The photograph therefore shows elements of the moon’s surface not previously witnessed before.

It also shows distinctive features what could already be seen with less clarity from Earth, such as the Sea of Tranquillity. 

The image is estimated to sell for between £1,000-£2,000.     

The moon as seen in an image taken during NASA's Apollo 8 Mission. It is estimated to fetch between £1,000-2,000

The moon as seen in an image taken during NASA’s Apollo 8 Mission. It is estimated to fetch between £1,000-2,000

First image of Earth taken by a human from beyond the planet’s orbit 

Like the colour ‘Earthrise’ image, this shot was also taken by astronaut William Anders. 

The image was taken by Anders on December 21, three days before the Earthrise photo. 

The picture featured on the cover of Life Magazine on January 10, 1969 and went on to become one of the 20th century’s most famous photographs.

The print of the image being sold by Dreweatts is estimated to fetch between £2,000-£4,000.    

Another image of the earth which was taken during NASA's Apollo 8 mission. The photo captures our planet's swirling weather systems and blue of the oceans

Another image of the earth which was taken during NASA’s Apollo 8 mission. The photo captures our planet’s swirling weather systems and blue of the oceans

Ham the chimpanzee during his flight into space – 1961  

The first primate to be blasted into space – Ham the chimpanzee – is seen with fear etched into its eyes during his 1961 mission.

Before being sent into space, Ham was first trained by Nasa experts so that he would survive the flight, which lasted 16 minutes and 39 seconds.

Ham was the first non-human hominid to be launched into space. His name is an acronym for the laboratory that trained him – the Holloman Aerospace Medical Center.

The chimpanzee survived his historic mission and died in 1983.   

The first primate to be blasted into space - Ham the chimpanzee -  is seen with fear etched into its eyes during his 1961 mission

The first primate to be blasted into space – Ham the chimpanzee –  is seen with fear etched into its eyes during his 1961 mission

The first American in space – 1961 

Astronaut Alan Shepard is seen during his 1961 mission which saw him become the first American in space. 

The photograph, which along with one other image is expected to fetch between £500 and £1,000, was taken by the pilot monitoring camera on his ‘Freedom 7’ spacecraft during the mission, on May 5. 

Shepard made it into space less than a month after the Soviet Union’s Yuri Gagarin had done so.

The flight lasted for 15 minutes and its launch was seen by millions on television. 

The prints chronicle expeditions all the way up to the late 1990s and are in fine original condition. Pictured: Astronaut Alan Shepard is seen above during his 1961 mission which saw him become the first American in space. This image is estimated to fetch between £500-£1,000

The prints chronicle expeditions all the way up to the late 1990s and are in fine original condition. Pictured: Astronaut Alan Shepard is seen above during his 1961 mission which saw him become the first American in space. This image is estimated to fetch between £500-£1,000

What was the Apollo program and who are the astronauts who have been lucky enough to go to the moon? 

NASA photo taken on July 16, 1969 shows the huge, 363-foot tall Apollo 11 Spacecraft 107/Lunar Module S/Saturn 506) space vehicle launched from Pad A, Launch Complex 39. Kennedy Space Center (KSC), at 9:32 a.m. (EDT).

NASA photo taken on July 16, 1969 shows the huge, 363-foot tall Apollo 11 Spacecraft 107/Lunar Module S/Saturn 506) space vehicle launched from Pad A, Launch Complex 39. Kennedy Space Center (KSC), at 9:32 a.m. (EDT).

Apollo was the NASA programme that launched in 1961 and got the first man on the moon eight years later.

The first four flights tested the equipment for the Apollo Program and six of the other seven flights managed to land on the moon.

The first manned mission to the moon was Apollo 8 which circled around it on Christmas Eve in 1968 but did not land.

The crew of Apollo 9 spent ten days orbiting Earth and completed the first manned flight of the lunar module – the section of the Apollo rocket that would later land Neil Armstrong on the Moon.

The Apollo 11 mission was the first one to land on the moon on 20 July 1969.

The capsule landed on the Sea of Tranquillity, carrying mission commander Neil Armstrong and pilot Buzz Aldrin.

Armstrong and Aldrin walked on the lunar surface while Michael Collins remained in orbit around the moon.

When Armstrong became the first person to walk on the moon, he said, ‘That’s one small step for (a) man; one giant leap for mankind.’

Apollo 12 landed later that year on 19 November on the Ocean of Storms, writes NASA .

Apollo 13 was to be the third mission to land on the moon, but just under 56 hours into flight, an oxygen tank explosion forced the crew to cancel the lunar landing and move into the Aquarius lunar module to return back to Earth.

Apollo 15 was the ninth manned lunar mission in the Apollo space program, and considered at the time the most successful manned space flight up to that moment because of its long duration and greater emphasis on scientific exploration than had been possible on previous missions.

The last Apollo moon landing happened in 1972 after a total of 12 astronauts had touched down on the lunar surface.

Astronaut Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin unpacking experiments from the Lunar Module on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission. Photographed by Neil Armstrong, 20 July 1969

Who has been to the moon?

1 + 2. Apollo 11 – July 21, 1969

Neil Armstrong made history by becoming the first person to set foot on the moon.

Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin followed Neil Armstrong on to the surface of the moon. His popular nickname gave itself to the animated characte Buzz Lightyear.

3 + 4. Apollo 12 – November 19 and 20, 1969

Pete Conrad and Alan Bean were the moon walkers on the Apollo 12 mission.

The Apollo 12 crew experienced two lightning strikes just after their Saturn V rocket launched.

All the men who have been to the moon

All the men who have been to the moon 

5 + 6. Apollo 14 – February 5, 1971

Alan Shepard and Edgar Mitchell who were part of the Apollo 14 mission. They launched on January 31, 1971, and landed in the Fra Mauro region of the moon, the original destination for Apollo 13.

7 + 8. Apollo 15 – July 31, 1971

David Scott and James Irwin landed on the moon and stayed for three days, until August 2nd.

9 + 10. Apollo 16 – April 21 1972

John Young and Charles Duke were the next men to walk on the moon. When the crew reached lunar orbit, the mission almost had to be aborted because of a problem with Command/Service Module’s main engine.

11 + 12. Apollo 17 – December 11, 1972

The final people to walk on the moon were Eugene (Gene) Cernan and Harrison (Jack) Schmitt.

Before he left the moon, Cernan scratched the initials of his daughter Tracy into the lunar regolith. Since the moon does not experience weather conditions like wind or rain to erode anything away, her initials should stay there for a very long time.

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