Apollo 8 Flight Path: Earth-Moon-Earth
On today’s date, 23 December 1968, the crew of the Apollo 8
mission entered lunar orbit following a 3-day flight that started with lift-off on 21 December.
After entering lunar orbit the 3-man crew orbited the Moon 10 times over a period of 20 hours. It was during the 4th orbit on 24 December, due to a combination of things, that brought the Earth rising above the lunar horizon into view through two of the view ports on the Apollo 8 spacecraft, leaving us with a remarkable and historic picture known as Earthrise
Use these links to see the two animated graphics above full size: Mission Flight Path – Lunar Orbital Insertion.
Click here to see images and videos from the Apollo missions at the Apollo Image Gallery.
The video (22 min) below is from NASA and contains highlights of the Apollo 8 mission from lift-off through lunar orbits to splashdown in the Pacific Ocean. Click here to go to the Moving Video Archive to download a copy of the video in different formats and sizes.
Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information for this month.