LUNAR ORBITER II.
"THE PICTURE OF THE CENTURY".
Silver gelatin print, 20 by 24 inches. Image II-162-H3, high resolution. November 24, 1966.
The iconic image featuring a dramatic view looking into the heart of Copernicus crater, hailed at the time by Life Magazine as "The Picture of the Century." Until this moment, the few images of the lunar surface were taken from perpendicular to the surface - this was the first time that an image was taken at an oblique angle, providing the first ever glimpse of the rugged and foreboding lunar surface. Truly an astonishing image, a direct parallel can be drawn to the images produced by Galileo after viewing the surface of the moon through his telescope. Launched on November 6, 1966, Lunar Orbiter II was tasked with completing a photographic survey program for Apollo landing sites. It produced 211 photographs during 40 orbits.
Illustrated in Cortright, Apollo Missions to the Moon, chapter 5.