Nasa daily picture for December 21: Launch Day!

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Apollo 8 crew enters the transfer to go to Pad A.

On Dec. 21, 1968, the Apollo 8 crew leaves the Kennedy Space Center's then-named Manned Spacecraft Operations Building during the mission's prelaunch countdown on the way to their history-making lunar orbiting flight. Commander Frank Borman (waving to well-wishers) leads the crew, followed by astronauts James Lovell, command module pilot; and William Anders, lunar module pilot. The crew is about to enter a special transfer van which transported them to Pad A, Launch Complex 39, where their Apollo 8 Saturn V rocket awaits them. Liftoff for the lunar orbit mission was at 7:51 a.m. EST. Holding the door to the transfer van is Charles Buckley, KSC security chief.

On Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, 1968, the Apollo 8 crew began their historic orbit around the moon. Learn more about the mission.

Image Credit: NASA



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