Picture of Apollo 8 spacecraft
Powered by the Saturn V rocket, later used by Apollo 11, Apollo 8 was launched on Dec. 21, 1968. Astronauts Frank Borman, James Lovell, Jr., and William Anders became the first humans to travel to the Moon and see its farside, successfully accomplishing all their mission objectives during their six days in space.
On Christmas Eve, Apollo 8 completed 10 orbits around the Moon returning live television pictures back to our planet. Over half a billion people watched as Earth rose on the Moon's horizon, realizing the limitless possibilities of space exploration.
Apollo 8 provided astronauts with more experience in space travel, and brought us one step closer to the Apollo program's objective of landing humans safely on the Moon.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
on science education, classroom activities in The Earth Scientist
specimens, and educational games
You might also be interested in:
Apollo 11 was the first mission that landed a person on the moon. On July 16, 1969, the U. S. rocket Saturn 5 was launched carrying the lunar landing module Eagle. The Eagle was released and it reached...more
The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) is really neat! It was first launched in 1990, but scientists started building it in the 1970's! We have found all kinds of objects like stars, nebulae and galaxies. The...more
Apollo 12 was launched on Nov. 14, 1969 and arrived at the Moon three days later. Astronauts Charles Conrad and Alan Bean descended to its surface, while Richard Gordon remained in lunar orbit aboard the...more
Apollo 15 marked the start of a new series of missions from the Apollo space program, each capable of exploring more lunar terrain than ever before. Launched on July 26, 1971, Apollo 15 reached the Moon...more
NASA chose Deep Impact to be part of a special series called the Discovery Program. This program is for cheap, scientific projects. In May 2001, NASA said it was ok to start with mission development for...more
Galileo was a spacecraft that orbited Jupiter for eight years. It made many discoveries about Jupiter and its moons. Galileo was launched in 1989, and reached Jupiter in 1995. The spacecraft had two parts....more
During 1966 through 1967, five Lunar Orbiter spacecrafts were launched, with the purpose of mapping the Moon's surface in preparation for the Apollo and Surveyor landings. All five missions were successful,...more