The Good Earth

apollo8_earthrise

Forty years ago today, Frank Borman, James Lovell, and William Anders were half-way through a dangerous and epic journey, over 230,000 miles from home. TIME magazine recounts some of the story:

But on Christmas Eve the crew got busy. Settling Apollo 8 into orbit around the moon was a high-wire maneuver that involved turning the ship backward and firing its powerful service propulsion engine for precisely four and a half minutes — an eternity in a business in which barely a breath from a thruster is enough to set a ship spinning off course. The engine burn was designed to slow the spacecraft down just enough to ease it into a lunar orbit without losing so much altitude that it crashed into the moon instead. Orbital mechanics also demanded that the maneuver occur on the dark side of the moon, entirely out of radio contact with Earth. At 68 hours and 58 minutes into their journey, the crew buckled in and vanished around the moon’s far side.

— Jeffrey Kluger.  “Remembering Apollo 8, Man’s First Trip to the Moon“, TIME, December 24th, 2008.

This is their iconic television broadcast on December 24th, 1968; a reading of Genesis I 1-10, NKJV.

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2 Responses
  1. Kateland says:

    Just a short note to wish you and the lovely Wanda a joyous holiday season!

  2. Kateland says:

    I wish you and the lovely Wanda a joyous holiday season! I’d write more but Darcey has corrupted me with too much Yarden.