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December 24, 2018 - From the Earth to the Moon

From the Earth to the Moon  The Apollo 8 crew made history by traveling farther from Earth than any humans before them. Launched on a Saturn V Moon rocket, astronauts Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and Bill Anders were the first humans to escape Earth’s gravitational influence and travel around the Moon. Entering lunar orbit on the fourth day of their mission, the three astronauts provided the first live television images of the lunar surface. At the end of their second live telecast, the trio took turns reading the first ten verses of the Book of Genesis. That broadcast took place late on Christmas Eve (East Coast time) fifty years ago this week, and it was seen by an estimated one billion people around the world. During their ten orbits of the Moon, the crew witnessed ten spectacular Earthrises like this one.

Image credit: NASA

Weekly Calendar

December 24 - 30, 2018

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History


Moon phase Monday 24

Moon at perigee

1968: Apollo 8 enters lunar orbit
1978: Venera 11 lands on Venus
1979: European Space Agency launches first Ariane rocket

Moon phase Tuesday 25

Christmas Day

1642: Isaac Newton born
2003: Mars Express and Beagle 2 arrive at Mars
2004: Huygens probe separates from Cassini spacecraft

Moon phase Wednesday 26

Boxing Day (Canada, U.K., Australia)
First Day of Kwanzaa

1780: Mary Somerville born

Moon phase Thursday 27

Juno appears stationary

1571: Johannes Kepler born
1984: Meteorite ALH 84001 discovered

Moon phase Friday 28

1882: Arthur Eddington born

Moon phase Saturday 29

Last Qtr Moon 4:34 AM ET

1980: STS-1 leaves Vehicle Assembly Building and rolls out to launch pad

Moon phase Sunday 30

1957: Wernher von Braun proposes the Saturn-class launch vehicle

Suggestions for new history dates or better links? Corrections for errors on this page? Please e-mail me.