Moon, Mars, Station. Credits: ESA–A. Gerst

Moon, Mars, Station. Credits: ESA–A. Gerst

Inspired by an image ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst took of Mars and Moon from the International Space Station last June, we launched a challenge to our followers to capture in one shot a picture of the three destinations of ESA’s human and robotic exploration programme: Space Station, the eclipsed Moon and Mars.

The results were phenomenal and more than we ever expected for a photography challenge that was far from easy. Careful planning, luck and determination was necessary to see the Red Planet and the reddish eclipsed Moon as the International Space Station flew over from West to East. In mainland Europe the lunar eclipse was on 27 July 2018 so the planet and satellites, both human-made and natural, had to align that evening in the camera lens.

The winners received their prize many months ago but we never rounded up our favourites until now. Heading into the new year with another lunar eclipse in January and the anniversary of 50 years of NASA’s Apollo programme our vision is set on the Moon and Mars. Using low-Earth orbit for research and demonstrating technology, developing the Orion service module and elements for a gateway around the Moon and sending robotic probes to Mars.

Thank you for visualising our goals in such wonderful pictures. (Germany) (Sweden)

View this post on Instagram

ISS, Mooneclipse and Mars in opposition all in a one shot photo. What a rare moment! Not the best photo when it comes to composition but this combination in a single frame will be hard to get again. This picture was taken in Hetlingen near Hamburg germany on the elberiver dike at the zenith of the lunareclipse on 27 july 2018 22:39. Samyang 16mm at f8, 30s exposure, iso100 As you can see the dike was filled with people enjoying the the eclipse and watching the iss passing by all over the elbe river.. #youresa @europeanspaceagency @esa_earth @nasa #internationalspacestation #internationaleraumstation #mondfinsternis2018 #mooneclipse2018 #iss #mars #marsopposition #moonlovers #bloodmoon2018 #mooneclipse #hetlingen #welovehh #hamburg #moonshot #schleswigholstein #schleswigholsteinistschön #lunareclipse #lunareclipse2018 #esa #europeanspaceagency @astro_alex_esa #tophamburgphoto #hamburg_de

A post shared by ypsilon-photography (@yannick_jorzik_brzelinski) on (Poland)