Monday, December 24, 2018
Apollo 8 50th Anniversary
1968 had been a rough, tumultuous year. We'd lost the Rev Dr.Martin Luther King, Jr and Sen. Robert F. Kennedy to assassins bullets. Riots had broken out in several US cities. Czechoslovakia got invaded by the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact to put an end to the Prague Spring.
The Vietnam War was raging, and the protests against it were ramping up. Nixon was now the president-elect after LBJ declined to run for another term.
And this mission was critical to making the other goal happen with the clock inexorably ticking toward the end of the 1960's.
It arrived at the moon to start its ten orbits of the moon on Christmas Eve. And then the got the sight and the photo of a lifetime, the famous shot of Earth rising above the moon.
They also sent a message from lunar orbit to the people back on Earth breathlessly watching the mission.
Seven months later, the mission that President Kennedy had set the nation on course to complete would be accomplished with Apollo 11 landing on the moon that July.