Category: apollo 8

Looking out the window during the Apollo 8 mission, December 1968.

Transmitting from 180,000 miles away, Apollo 8 astronaut Jim Lovell speaks to the world on December 26, 1968: “What I keep imagining is, if I’m some lonely traveler from another planet, what I’d think about the Earth at this altitude, whether I’d think it’d be inhabited or not.”

How would Santa Claus deliver presents to a spaceship at the Moon? Apollo 8 astronauts discuss the matter with mission control, December 24, 1968.

Gerald Carr (Houston): Santa Claus struck last night before I came in here on the shift, and I guess we will finish off the unwrapping this morning when I get back.
Jim Lovell: Right. He was looking for a chimney on (spacecraft) 103 here, but he didn’t see any.
Carr: (Laughter.) You could have left the hatch unlocked for him.
Lovell: I’ll think about that one.
Carr: Think real hard, Jim. EECOM says he could have slid down the steam duct.
Lovell: Sounds good. About that time, Bill would have been boiling water.

LUNAR CHRISTMAS – Behold a sequence of photos of the lunar surface taken during the Apollo 8 mission when humans orbited the Moon for the first time, December 24-25, 1968. (via)

In a message from space on December 24, 1968, Apollo 8 astronauts read verses from the Book of Genesis, and mission commander Frank Borman closes with Christmas greetings to “all of you on the good Earth.”

“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.”

—Apollo 8 astronaut Frank Borman, December 24, 1968

Isaac Asimov describes how Apollo 8 beat his estimate for when humans would reach the Moon. Clip from the NASA film “Debrief: Apollo 8” with an intro by Burgess Meredith.

The view from Apollo 8 on December 24, 1968.


CHRISTMAS MOON – Beautiful views of the surface of the Moon, taken from orbit by Apollo 8 astronauts on December 24, 1968. (NASA)

December 24, 1968: Apollo 8 astronauts Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and Bill Anders become the first humans to orbit the Moon.