Over 70 years ago the first images of Earth could be recorded from space with the help of ballistic long-range rockets. The tests made use of V-2 rockets seized from the Germans by the Americans during World War II. The films, recovered from the rocket debris, showed Earth for the first time from a satellite perspective. In black-and-white, course grained and with poor resolution, they were nevertheless a sensation. Today, 70 years later, satellites continuously supply highly precise images of the state of our planet and they have become an essential instrument for visualising and analysing global interrelationships.
The ‘Blue Marble’ image of Earth captured by the Apollo 17 crew in 1972. © NASA