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Fifty years after the "Earthrise" photo, Apollo 8 has a Christmas message to the astronaut



View of Apollo 8 over the moon. (Photo by Time Life Pictures / NASA / The LIFE Collection / Getty Images)

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Fifty years ago on this Christmas Eve, the crew of Apollo 8 circled the Moon as the first for humanity. And on December 24, 1968, the lunar module's pilot, Bill Anders, photographed the now iconic Earthrise photo, which brought the problems on the surface of our planet into perspective.

This perspective could not have come at a time when it was more needed for Americans. It was shortly after the attacks of Dr. med. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy seized; In the midst of the turbulence of the Vietnam War and the escalating Cold War with Russia.

Fifty years later, Anders on Space.com wrote a moving insider account of this fateful mission – one he had calculated at the time, just an in-3 chance to return to Earth.

"The earth we saw ascending above the battered gray moon surface was small and delicate, a magnificent patch of color in the vast blackness of the universe. Once distant places were inseparably close, "Anders writes. "Borders that once made division have disappeared. All humanity seemed to be united in this glorious but fragile sphere. Anders

Anders hopes that the message from Christmas Eve, 1968, has been resonating since the fiftieth revolution around the Sun to bring us forward as astronauts, as Americans, as human beings, "writes Anders , "The most significant revelation of Apollo 8's journey goes far beyond our scientific and technological achievements, beyond our 'records' and 'firsts.'" We embark on the exploration of the moon and discover the earth instead. "

Read All History on Space.com


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