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Apollo 8
Apollo 8 Mission to Earth's Moon

Goals: Demonstrate command and service module (CSM) performance in a cislunar (between the Earth and moon) and lunar-orbit environment, evaluate crew performance in a lunar-orbit mission, demonstrate communications and tracking at lunar distances, and return high-resolution photography of proposed Apollo landing areas and other locations of scientific interest.

Commander: Frank Borman
Command Module Pilot: James A. Lovell, Jr.
Lunar Module Pilot: William A. Anders

Accomplishments: All primary goals were met. Apollo 8 demonstrated that both the equipment and crew were capable of flying to the moon, conducting tasks in lunar space and returning safely to Earth.

Key Dates
21 Dec 1968:  Launch
24 Dec 1968:  Lunar Orbit Insertion
25 Dec 1968:  Lunar Departure
27 Dec 1968:  Recovery on Earth
27 Dec 1968:  End of Lunar Mission
Status: Success
Fast Facts
Apollo 8 Facts First time humans flew to the moon.

First time humans orbited the moon.

Apollo 8 was the first time humans saw the far side of the moon firsthand (right).
People Spotlight
David S. McKay David S. McKay
During the Apollo program, McKay gave the first men to walk on the moon training in geology. Read More...
23 Dec 2008: 
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Last Updated: 5 Sep 2013