Earthrise in President Nixon’s Oval Office

Earthrise is a photograph of Earth taken from lunar orbit during the Apollo 8 mission, seven months before the first Moon landing by the Apollo 11 mission. President Nixon hung a copy of Earthrise on the wall next to his desk in the Oval Office.

The picture of Earthrise was prominently visible during news coverage of President Nixon’s call with Apollo 11 astronauts on the lunar surface. Flat-Earthers find it strange Nixon already had the photo hung on the wall when the mission was still ongoing. These people are unaware that there are already several Apollo missions before Apollo 11, and Apollo 11 was only the first to land on the Moon.

Apollo 8 mission was the first crewed spacecraft to orbit the Moon, but it did not land on the Moon. When orbiting the Moon, astronaut William Anders took photos of Earth just after it rises above the lunar horizon. One of these photos is the famous photo that we call Earthrise.

Between Apollo 8 and Apollo 11, there are two other Apollo missions. Apollo 9 was launched to qualify the lunar module for lunar orbit operations, including docking with the command & service module. Apollo 10 was launched to test everything just short of actually landing on the Moon.