December 24, 2015

Christmas Greetings from Apollo 8



Forty seven years ago today, on Christmas Eve, 1968, Apollo 8 took man for the first time around the moon. One of the most famous photographs of all time is the "Earthrise" over the moon, shot by William Anders.

Watch the Christmas Greeting from the Moon:
A Reading of Genesis by Apollo 8 Astronauts

As they orbited the moon, the three astronauts, Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and Bill Anders, took turns reading from the book of Genesis. Watch the above video for their historic broadcast.

From NASA.gov: "We were told that on Christmas Eve we would have the largest audience that had ever listened to a human voice," recalled Borman during 40th anniversary celebrations in 2008. "And the only instructions that we got from NASA was to do something appropriate."

"The first ten verses of Genesis is the foundation of many of the world's religions, not just the Christian religion," added Lovell. "There are more people in other religions than the Christian religion around the world, and so this would be appropriate to that and so that's how it came to pass."
Christmas Greetings from the Moon

Jim Lovell: "The vast loneliness is awe-inspiring and it makes you realize just what you have back there on Earth."

William Anders:
"For all the people on Earth the crew of Apollo 8 has a message we would like to send you".
"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.
And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness."

Jim Lovell:
"And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day."

Frank Borman:
"And God said, Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good."

Frank Borman: "And from the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas, and God bless all of you - all of you on the good Earth." 

Best wishes for a Merry Christmas from the Coalition to Save Manned Space Exploration

Photo and video credits NASA

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