Recently I've come across a couple of interesting articles relating to photography in space. The link above is the European Space Associations galleries of images from the Rosetta mission where they landed a satellite on a comet. I've always known that the date from mission such as this is basically radioed back, but this article goes more in-depth into how that works, and this article talks about a range of topics, including the fact that the cameras on-board these probes are usually old (by our standards, at least) because these missions take years to complete.
Also, the first photo taken by a person on the moon included a bag of trash on it. Next time, don't beat yourself up too hard for having a trashcan in your background.