So far, I found a picture made from a captured V missile launched in US to image part of the Earth.

Which mission did deliver a full view of the Earth from the space?

Note. Of course it's physically a half. Like full moon, there is full Earth, "the blue marble".

  • $\begingroup$ Related: space.stackexchange.com/q/8140/58 $\endgroup$
    – called2voyage
    Aug 6, 2018 at 16:56
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You can only see the full half if you are infinitely far away (and have an infinitely strong telescope), so you still need to define what you mean by "full" (45%, 49%, 49.9%…). I think the famous Blue Marble could see about 44%. $\endgroup$
    – gerrit
    Aug 6, 2018 at 16:57
  • $\begingroup$ Also related: space.stackexchange.com/q/6161/33 $\endgroup$
    – gerrit
    Aug 6, 2018 at 16:58
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    $\begingroup$ @gerrit By comparison to the "full moon" I think it is clear that the OP means a picture of a full circle of Earth at its most sunlit. $\endgroup$
    – called2voyage
    Aug 6, 2018 at 17:11

1 Answer 1


The first image that included Earth's full disk (but less than half of that was illuminated) was taken from Lunar Orbiter 1 on August 23, 1966. Before that, images of Earth were from relatively low altitudes, so even were the sun directly behind the photographing satellite the view would show significantly less than half Earth's surface.

In late December of 1966 the Application Technology Satellite I (ATS-I) began sending the first images of Earth from GEO, including the first full-disk image of an essentially fully-illuminated Earth. Well, anyway, from GEO you only get ~42.4% of the entire surface, so ~84.9% of the satellite-facing hemisphere. ATS-1 also sent the first-ever movies of cloud movements on a global scale, and the "movement" of the illuminated part of Earth as it rotates.


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