Earth Day 2020: NASA celebrates Earth day with timelapse of the planet

April 22 is Earth Day and is an annual celebration of the planet to help demonstrate support for environmental movements. NASA has got involved to celebrate the planet it spends most time trying to get away from by celebrating its achievements from space.

In 1968, the famous ‘Earthrise’ photo was taken from the Apollo 8 spacecraft, the first manned mission to the Moon. The crew entered lunar orbit on Christmas Eve.

That evening, the astronauts held a live broadcast, showing pictures of the Earth and moon as seen from their spacecraft.

A video released by NASA today shows how since that historic mission and subsequent photo, the space agency has made great strides in monitoring and protecting our planet.

The video shows how it has brought into the public’s eyes issues on the climate, atmosphere and land and ocean.

The space agency said: “It’s been five decades since Apollo 8 astronaut William Anders photographed Earth peaking over the Moon’s horizon.

“The iconic image, dubbed Earthrise, inspired a new appreciation of the fragility of our place in the universe. Two years later, Earth Day was born to honor our home planet.

“As the world prepares to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, NASA reflects on how the continued growth of its fleet of Earth-observing satellites has sharpened our view of the planet’s climate, atmosphere, land, polar regions and oceans.”

Back on Earth, it may seem like there is not much to celebrate this time around with humanity struggling to come to grips with the coronavirus outbreak.

Even NASA has been affected, with the space agency having to put a halt to proceedings as the US, the country worst affected by coronavirus, comes to a standstill.

NASA has had to suspend work on its Moon mission in light of the pandemic, after an employee at the Stennis Space Center in New Orleans, where it is testing the SLS rockets which will eventually go to the Moon, came down with coronavirus.

NASA chief Jim Bridenstine said: “The change at Stennis was made due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the community around the centre, the number of self-isolation cases within our workforce there, and one confirmed case among our Stennis team.

“NASA will temporarily suspend production and testing of Space Launch System and Orion hardware.

“The NASA and contractors teams will complete an orderly shutdown that puts all hardware in a safe condition until work can resume.”

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