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This Day in History: Apollo 8 Splashes Down After Circumlunar Voyage (December 27th, 1968)


Apollo 8 returned to Earth on December 27th, 1968 after being the first space mission to carry humans beyond earth orbit.

12/24/68 Apollo 8, Christmas Eve, orbit moon for the first time (Courtesy: NASA/CBS)

Apollo 8 returned to Earth on December 27th, 1968 after being the first space mission to carry humans beyond earth orbit.

Apollo 8 was launched into space on December 21st, 1968 onboard a Saturn V booster. It was the second manned Apollo flight to be launched. While Apollo 7 carried men only into Earth orbit, Apollo 8 carried men around the moon.

It did not carry a landing craft, but instead was a circum-lunar mission, taking the crew of Frank Borman, James Lovell and William Anders around the moon and back to Earth.

The mission was a complete success, and many watched live broadcasts from the mission on TV. It would be followed by Apollo 9, which would be an Earth-orbit mission to test the lunar module.


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