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May 12, 2016 I saw Earth from space, but only in black and white

In 1961, Alan Shepard became the first American in Space. This is the view that his camera had:

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And this is the view that Alan Shepard had:

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That’s right. The first American in Space saw everything in black & white – during the entire flight. Why? Because someone forgot to remove a filter from his periscope window prior to launch. Even though he saw everything in black and white, he said “What a beautiful view”.

Luckily, he eventually went back into space in 1971 and got to enjoy it in full colour, even becoming the oldest person to walk on the moon.

Alan Shepard


This post was originally published on Quora, in answer to What are some of the biggest mistakes in history?

Patrick Lau
is a contributing writer on Quora