50 years later: Apollo 8's holiday message

50 years later: Apollo 8's holiday message

Apollo 8's iconic Earthrise. On the one hand, the insignificance of this small planet surrounded by so much nothingness, the lifeless matter of space, might make one ask, as one of the astronauts did, could Earth really be the center of the universe? He's pushing for a return to the moon, but with real sustainability this next go-around.

Another such tragedy would be shattering to Americans, all the more so since Apollo 8 would be traveling over Christmas.

It was the first "Earthrise" witnessed in human history. Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and Bill Anders - the crew of Apollo 8 - were circling the moon.

Neither event was in mission control's plan for the flight.

By August, delays in the lunar module development meant that the mission would not have the very spacecraft it was intended to test.

As the calendar turned to 1969, NASA would prepare the next steps that led to Aldrin and Armstrong's July 20 landing on the moon. But on Christmas Eve 1968, the capsule made it to lunar orbit.

WILLIAM ANDERS: For all the people back on Earth, the crew of Apollo 8 has a message that we would like to send to you.

On Christmas Eve 1968, the first humans to circle the moon aboard Apollo 8 sent back the first image of the Earth above the lunar surface.

Starting with the launch. Add to it the fact that the crew of Apollo 1 had been burned to death during a ground test in 1967 owing to a launchpad fire, and it seemed that all the ingredients and a recipe for disaster were in place.

RUSSELL LEWIS, BYLINE: Any trip to space is risky, but a mission to the moon, almost a quarter-million miles from Earth, was something else. I can see most of South America, all the way up to Central America, Yucatan, and the peninsula of Florida.

Jermall Charlo retains as twin brother Jermell suffers first loss
The 28-year-old American was a dominant victor , with the judges scoring the fight 119-108, 116-112 and 116-112 in his favour. Korobov had been quite inactive since but won four fights in a row before losing to Charlo , who said he enjoyed the fight.

Italy's Mount Etna erupts, closing Sicily's Catania Airport
Its most recent eruptions occurred in August and in the Spring of 2017, resulting in a spectacular light and ash show. The Catania International Airport airspace was temporarily closed due to the ash in the air , the airport announced.

Thousands evacuated in Sydney after 'loud crack' in 38-storey building
The website for the Opal Tower says the building has 392 apartments, commercial spaces, a childcare centre and community centre. The residents living in or near the Opal Tower complex in the city's Olympic Park were moved out on Christmas Eve.

The astronauts' wonder at the beauty of the Earth was matched by their first look at the lunar surface. The pictures that aren't perfectly framed. It was a remarkable time in this country's history.

Translunar flight of Apollo 8.

"Nasa couldn't get to the Moon today".

Borman was thrilled at the chance to beat the Soviet Union into lunar orbit, scoring a key win in the Cold War. On viewers' screens, there was a slight brightening on the lunar horizon, and then a crackly recitation by the astronauts. The whole Earth is there, but the bit of windowsill reminds you that this was taken by three pilots who scrambled to capture something awe-inspiring.

By December 25, nearly everyone on Earth was engrossed with Apollo 8. Cosmonaut Gherman Titov had become unwell in his Vostok back in 1961, but relations between the Soviet Union and the U.S. meant that NASA wasn't privy to all the details. "I started to wonder why I was here, what's my goal here... it sort of dawned me", he said.

After 10 orbits, the crew again fired the SPS engine, again hidden behind the moon. It's just a little eerie, but also awesome. Lovell managed to get a magazine of color film for Anders who then shot two images of the continuing earthrise.

For Bostick, it's really that triumph of teamwork and hard work that characterizes Apollo 8.

Later that evening, the crew read from the book of Genesis in a live TV broadcast. And people are still outraged!

"It was in the turning-around, looking-forward process when I saw this thing coming out of the corner of my eye in the window". Here's a recap of the reading and the resulting lawsuit in a couple of older videos.

"On the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 8 launch, it's important to remember what this mission gave us". And if you'd like to get an in-depth look at the mission, I highly recommend Apollo 8 by Jeff Kluger - an incredible book by one of my writing inspirations.

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