QUOTE (ljk4-1 @ Jun 7 2006, 09:30 AM)
In this online NASA book:
Dreams, Hopes, and Realities: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, the First Forty Years (NASA SP-4312, 1999) by Lane E. Wallace. http://history.nasa.gov/SP-4312/p132.jpg
I've seen that picture with the claim it was the first real space picture of the Earth.
One of the first Molniya satellites had a television camera on it, the same Seliger
system used inside the Vostok cockpit. Probably a 400-line video image, but the picture seen in the PDF document is probably degraded badly by Xeroxing and PDF conversion. Molniya was a television and communications relay satellite, the camera was just an experiment. Here is a typcial Seliger image, still degraded by generation loss, but not as totally as the Molniya image:Click to view attachment
The Meteor-1 satellites had a television camera, and the later Meteor satelites had a mechanical scanning camera (like on Landsat and a lot of other Earth resource satellites).
When was the first linear camera used from space, using the motion of a satellite to sweep out an image? Landsat and Meteor uses reciprocating mirrors or spinning prisms to scan the Earth with a photomultiplier. I first example I know of is the Luna-19 camera. But surely someone photographed the Earth like this before the Moon though!