WSF logo

Apollo 8

Mission Number: AS-503
21-27 December 1968

    Frank Borman [2], Commander
    James Lovell [3], CSM Pilot
    William Anders [1], LM Pilot

Backup Crew:
    Neil Armstrong, Commander
    Edwin Aldrin, CSM Pilot
    Fred Haise, LM Pilot

    Location: John F. Kennedy Space Center
    Pad: 39-A
    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.

(Video - 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 Apollo 8 command module is on loan to the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, IL, from the National Air and Space Museum.


earthrise_a8_sm.jpg (7747 bytes)
Credit: NASA
The Earthrise as seen from Apollo 8. The lunar surface is in the foreground.


Archived NASA page for Apollo 8


Page last modified: 08 April 2024 09:06:55.