In August of 1968, three NASA astronauts received a call telling them to cancel their winter holiday plans — they were going to the Moon. Fifty years later we are celebrating the historic mission of Apollo 8.
1. The rising Earth is about five degrees above the lunar horizon in this telephoto view taken from the Apollo 8 spacecraft. This iconic photo was later nicknamed "Earthrise." 2. Apollo 8 Commander Frank Borman leads the way as he, Command Module Pilot James A. Lovell Jr., and Lunar Module Pilot William A. Anders head to the launch pad for humanity’s maiden voyage around the Moon and its first aboard the Saturn V vehicle.
3. This oblique view of the lunar surface was taken from the Apollo 8 spacecraft.
4. A striking view from the Apollo 8 spacecraft showing nearly the entire Western Hemisphere, from the mouth of the St. Lawrence River, including nearby Newfoundland, extending to Tierra del Fuego at the southern tip of South America. Central America is clearly outlined. Nearly all of South America is covered by clouds, except the high Andes Mountain chain along the west coast. A small portion of the bulge of West Africa shows along the sunset terminator.
5. Apollo 8 prime crew inside the Apollo Boilerplate 1102A during water egress training.
6. Apollo 8 crew is photographed posing on a Kennedy Space Center (KSC) simulator in their space suits. From left to right: James A. Lovell Jr., William A. Anders and Frank Borman.
7. Apollo 8 spacecraft looking back at the Saturn V third stage. Reflected sunlight illuminates small particles, resulting in a "firefly" phenomenon.
8. View of the Moon's surface showing Earth rising above the lunar horizon, looking west-southwest, as photographed from the Apollo 8 spacecraft as it orbited the Moon.
9. Astronauts William A. Anders, James A. Lovell Jr., and Frank Borman, (left to right) are seen inside Apollo Boilerplate 1102A during water egress training.
10. The Apollo 8 (Spacecraft 103/Saturn 503) space vehicle is launched from Pad A, Launch Complex 39, Kennedy Space Center, Dec. 21, 1968.
All images credit: NASA #NASAGoddard #science #space #rocket #apollo50 #nasa