Apollo 8: A Story of Christmas Around the Moon


50 years ago, three NASA astronauts embarked on a journey that would take them “Round the moon and back”. The Apollo 8 mission proved the performance of the command and service module. This historic mission launched on December 21, 1968 to demonstrate a lunar trajectory and was the first manned launch of the Saturn V rocket. On Christmas Eve, Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and Bill Anders were the first humans to orbit the Moon and the first to see an Earthrise above its surface. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine remembers the bravery and dedication of the Apollo 8 mission.

This video is available for download from NASA’s Image and Video Library: https://images.nasa.gov/details-NHQ_20181211_Apollo%208_Bridenstine_FINAL.html

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  1. "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." So ended the TV broadcast, 50 years ago, of the first three humans to orbit the Moon. 1968 had been a turbulent year, filled with anti vietnam riots, and the assasinations of M.L. King and Robert Kennedy. As that turbulent year was winding to a close, three astronauts had ventured to orbit our most prominent night light to show what we could accomplish united under one flag. They looked back from the barren landscape of the Moon to the whole extent of human history that they could now cover with their thumb, the Earth. As they did this, they recalled the words of the Lord pertaining to the creation of that small dot. They began to read them on live television to an estimated audience of 3 billion. The words of the scripture even reached the then U.S.S.R. where Christmas was illegal. Fifty years later, let us not forget the God who created all things and declared them "good". And from my second favorite Christmas Story I wish you a "good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas – and God bless all of you, all of you on the good Earth."
    Merry Christmas Everyone

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