This fantastic photograph taken with the SuperWide Hasselblad camera and its 38mm lens graced the cover of LIFE magazine “Highest photos of Earth taken by man” in August 1966.

In the harsh glare of a space sunrise over the South Atlantic, Gemini X prepares to dock with Agena 10 about 46 feet away.

LIFE, August 1966


“If you see something out the window that’s interesting and the Sun happens to be in the wrong position, that’s just too bad; you shoot anyway because it’s a very transient, rapidly changing world out there, and you can’t wait for the Sun to get in the right position.”

—Michael Collins (Schick and Van Haaften, pg. 71)

From the mission transcript when the photograph was taken:

005:16:32 Collins:

180 feet. Okay, 180 feet and holding. You get right in there, John. 180 feet. 180 feet and holding. 120 feet.

005:17:14 Young:

Got your camera?

005:17:16 Collins:

Yes. Got it set up for daylight.

005:17:50 Young:

Get right in there with this one. [...]

005:19:52 Collins:

How in the heck do I stop rolling around in it?

005:19:55 Young:

Just stopped, right?

005:19:59 Collins:

Here comes the Sun, so watch it. [...]

005:20:29 Capcom (Mission Control):

Roger. Are you Station-keeping yet ?

005:20:45 Young:

I can’t see a darn thing there, Babe. Can you see it?

005:20:47 Collins:

Yes. I can see. You’re all right: You’re all right: You’re all right: You’re all right, John: Don’t do anything; You’ll see it in a second.

005:20:59 Young:

I got it.