|Mission Number: AS-503||21-27 December 1968|
Location: John F. Kennedy Space Center
Date: 21 December 1968
Time: 12:51:00 UTC
Mission Duration: 6 days, 3 hours, 0 minutes, 42 seconds
Date: 27 December 1968
Time: 15:51:42 UTC
Location: Pacific Ocean (8° 7.5' N, 165° 1.2' W)
Vessel: USS Yorktown (CVS-10)
Went into a lunar orbit for 20 hours, completing 10 orbits of the moon. Lunar orbit was 312 km x 111 km. There was no Lunar Module on this mission.
This was the first time men had left the vicinity of Earth and ventured into deep space. On Christmas Eve 1968, the world listened as the crew of Apollo 8 sent their greetings to Earth.
(Flash - Click to play)
Even though they did not land on the lunar surface, Apollo 8 effectively ended the Soviet Zond program and the race to the moon.
The powerful Saturn V was used as a launch vehicle for the first time.
|The Earthrise as seen from Apollo 8. The lunar surface is in the foreground.|