The Story of How Three Apollo 8 Astronauts Went ‘Round the Moon and Back’ on Christmas 1968

In honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 8 launch, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine shares the story of this historic mission during Christmas 1968 that took astronauts Frank Borman, James Lovell, and William Anders “round the moon and back” for the very first time in history.

This historic mission launched on December 21, 1968 to demonstrate a lunar trajectory and was the first manned launch of the Saturn V rocket. On Christmas Eve, Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and Bill Anders were the first humans to orbit the Moon and the first to see an Earthrise above its surface. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine remembers the bravery and dedication of the Apollo 8 mission.

It was on this mission that Bill Anders took his remarkable “Earthrise” photo on December 24, 1968.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.