All Apollo flights were heavily scheduled down to the minute. At the time this photo was taken, none of the astronauts was scheduled to do so. Thus this photo was taken quickly in a stolen moment. The astronaut who took the picture was weightless, and the continents were hard to see, and he took the photo quickly, which explains why he held the camera upside down compared to the north up orientation of all maps. If every photo on this roll of film is printed, and all of the photos on the roll of film are oriented the same way, then when viewed in sequence, to put feet down and heads up, this photo will have the south pole up, breaking the map convention.
Subscribe to our email newsletter to receive updates