Photograph of Earth from an Air Force Atlas Intercontinental Ballistic Missile
Original caption: SUBJECT: MOTHER EARTH FROM 700MILES UP -- This series of photographs taken during the flight of an Air Force Atlas Intercontinental Ballistic Missile August 24, 1959, shows the earth from an altitude of up to 700 miles. The photographs were taken by a movie camera installed in a recoverable capsule carried in the missile nose cone. Both the capsule and the nose cone were designed and built by General Electric Missile and Space Vehicle Department at Philadelphia, Pa. The movie film shows about one-sixth of the earth's surface, including portions of the North and South Americas and Africa. The camera was installed in the nose cone to help prove the operation of the stabilization system used to orient the re-entry vehicle during its flight through space. This series of photographs were selected from the 16mm movie film, and shows views of the earth from approximately 200 miles to 700 miles up. A linear distance on the earth of approximately 2,000 miles can be seen on each of the photographs. At approximately 200 miles up, the main stage of the Atlas can be seen falling away, just after separation from the nose cone. The earth's horizon is reflected in the polished stainless steel of the missile body. Florida can be seen (center left) pointing toward the missile. OFFICIAL U.S. AIR FORCE PHOTO RELEASE BY THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, WASHINGTON 25, D.C. AUGUST 31, 1959 VIA NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION.