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Friday, December 21, 2018

Apollo 8

Fifty years ago today, December 21, 1968, Apollo 8 left Earth to orbit the Moon. It was the first crewed launch of a Saturn V rocket with astronauts Frank Borman, James Lovell, and William Anders aboard. Apollo 8 became the first manned spacecraft to orbit two celestial bodies as it went around both the Earth and the Moon. Although the mission was to attain lunar orbit Apollo 8 is best remembered for William Anders’ “Earthrise” photo as well as the television broadcast of the crew, which was estimated to have been watched by one billion people. The crew ended the broadcast with the following words that still resonate today - “And from the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas and God bless all of you—all of you on the good Earth."