Thomas Stafford took this “out of this world” (see mission transcript) Hasselblad photograph through the 80mm lens as the crew were also sending a color TV transmission to Mission Control from about 21,000 nautical miles away.
"It [the Earth] is just sitting out there in the middle of nowhere and it’s unbelievable.”
—Eugene Cernan (from mission transcript)
From the mission transcript as the Apollo 10 crew and Mission Control (watching the TV transmission from the spacecraft) were commenting this exhilarating view of Earth:
005:04:00 Public Affairs Office (Mission Control):
Apollo 10 is going to try to bring up another live color TV show, showing the Earth. We’ll stand by for this transmission. Apollo 10’s distance from the Earth now 21,119 nautical miles. Velocity; 13,170 feet per second.
Charlie, if you see this, it’s going to be out of this world, literally. [...]
I figure right there you should be able to see the United States, Mexico, Baja California -
005:06:57 Duke (Mission Control):
Hey, it’s really beautiful, Tom. It (the TV)’s coming in great.
You ought to see it up here, Charlie.
We’ve got the whole globe there. [...]
Okay. And it looks like the Rocky Mountains are orange colored to me. The rest of U.S., Baja California, that really stands out as all brownish, and the oceans are blue; but there are so many clouds out to the northeast of the United States, you can’t believe it. Covers the Far East over to Europe as far as you can see. [...]
005:10:05 Duke (Mission Control):
Okay, this has got to be the greatest sight ever.
You ought to see it up here. [...]
Charlie, this is - It’s so hard to describe. You can go right up past Alaska, and you can see the polar caps. It’s incredible. [...]
That’s great. And the blackest black that you ever could conceive is the setting for all this. [...]
Charlie, you know, you blink your eyes and you look out there and you know it’s three dimensional, but it is just sitting out there in the middle of nowhere and it’s unbelievable.