BLACK HOLE CATALOG, Part 2: Prologue

(Read the Black Hole Catalog introduction here.)

The first color photograph of the whole Earth was taken in 1967 by the ATS-3 satellite. In order to get the shot, plumes of toxic chemicals were first forced into the ground beneath the Cape Canaveral launch site that we’re still decades and billions of dollars away from cleaning up. For the camera to reach the necessary distance from the photographic subject, kilotons of carbon dioxide had to be jettisoned into the atmosphere. The propellants and fuel cells used to power the Atlas rocket required large quantities of fossil fuels to manufacture, as did the rocket itself. Its engines emitted reactive gases that are probably still in the process of breaking down ozone in the atmosphere. None of that excess made its way into the frame, but it did go elsewhere…

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