Wednesday, December 24, 2008

View From Apollo 8, 40 years ago today

Christmas, 1968: Frank Borman, James Lovell, and William Anders flew the Apollo 8 command module from the Earth to the Moon and back. The mission was launched on the first manned Saturn V rocket on December 21st and returned to Earth on December 27th. The ship was the first one to pass behind the moon. The astronauts were the first people to spend the solstice away from planet Earth, and one of the things they brought back was this famous picture of Earthrise over the Moon.

It made a big impression on me - the first sight of our beautiful and yet rather small planet hanging in space behind the moon. It's a revelation that can only happen once, but their picture will, I hope, continue to amaze.

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