View Full Version : Long ago (Christmas Eve 1968) and far away (250,000 miles from Earth) . . .

12-24-2008, 05:55 PM
Apollo 8 Lunar Module Pilot William Anders:

We are now approaching lunar sunrise, and for all the people back on Earth, the crew of Apollo 8 has a message that we would like to send you.

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.
And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness."

Command Module Pilot Jim Lovell:

"And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day."

Commander Frank Borman:

"And God said, Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good."

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.

12-25-2008, 06:47 AM
I was 11 years old, and while I didn't add everything up at the time, history tells us, and surely adults knew at the time that 1968 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1968) was a "bad year." About the only other thing I rermber from that year was the assasination of Martin Luther King. Other perhaps-relevant things I recall from the 1960's are a new TV series named "Star Trek," and a song on the radio, "Eve of Destruction" that I found quite scary, because I recognized some of the things in that song had actually happened ("you may leave here, for four days in space, but when you return, it's the same old place (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eve_of_Destruction_%28song%29)").

I was a "space fan" since NASA's Gemini days, back when there was full TV coverage (meaning all three channels showed it) of launches including literally hours of unscheduled countdown holds, so I was quite interested in whatever astronauts said from space. I recall hearing this Apollo 8 Christmas Eve thing on TV with the rest of my family.

Here's a photograph taken that same day, from about that same place:

The story of the photo:

Here's a higher resolution copy here (click on the pic for "full-screen" size):
(yeah, I sniped the first comment)

And a short history of the mission, including its historical significance (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_8#Historical_importance):

You know, Joe, if you or someone else hadn't posted that, I would have.

12-25-2008, 06:52 AM

12-25-2008, 06:58 AM
Thanks for posting Joe. I'm not religious, but what they accomplished was almost a holy thing. Right on and amen.