This medium resolution vertical view of the backside of the Moon was taken with the 80mm lens at an exposure time of 1/50 second. The position of the orbiter was 176° East above the Moon’s surface near the equator at an altitude of about 900 miles. The Orbiter was in its ninth orbit.

A great number of craters are visible, as the lunar relief was emphasized near the farside terminator (right of picture). The never before seen and unnamed at the time farside craters Aitken (just below of center) and Van De Graaf (bottom center) are particularly visible.

This photograph was made as part of the Lunar Orbiter program, a series of five unmanned spacecraft launched into orbit around the Moon in 1966 and 1967. Each spacecraft was equipped with a sophisticated imaging system provided by Eastman Kodak, which consisted of a dual-lens camera, film processing and handling units, and a readout scanner for transmitting the images back to Earth. The main purpose of the program was to select lunar landing sites for NASA’s manned Apollo Missions.

Over the course of one year, the Lunar Orbiters photographed 99 percent of the Moon’s surface, producing more than 2,000 images of unprecedented clarity and precision. After the film was processed on board the spacecraft, it was scanned in strips and transmitted to Earth via radio. Technicians at Eastman Kodak in Rochester, New York, created the final images by transferring the strips onto sheets of large-format film, from which prints were produced.

Read more: Far Side of the Moon at Apolune, The Metropolitan Museum of Art