SpaceX has shared stunning footage captured from the second stage of its Falcon 9 rocket. The video was shot during SpaceX’s March 17 mission to deploy two telecommunications satellites, SES-18 and SES-19, that will provide C-band television and data services across the US. The second stage carried the satellites to a geosynchronous transfer orbit. The clip shows a remarkable view of the planet that the astronauts on the upcoming Artemis II mission will be able to enjoy en route to the moon next year. This historic mission follows the successful crewless Artemis I test flight last year. During the flight, the Orion spacecraft captured and beamed back pictures of Earth from 57,000 miles away, marking the first time since the final Apollo mission in 1972 that a human-rated spacecraft had shot distant images of Earth.
Closer images of Earth are routinely captured by astronauts aboard the International Space Station. The images provide breathtaking views of particular features, both on land and water, but the planet is too close to appear spherical.