Nasa daily picture for December 21: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 8's Launch Into History

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Apollo 8 launch, December 21, 1968

Fifty years ago on Dec. 21, 1968, Apollo 8 launched from Pad A, Launch Complex 39, Kennedy Space Center at 7:51 a.m. EST. Frank Borman commanded the crew of the Apollo 8 lunar orbit mission. James Lovell served as command module pilot and William Anders was the lunar module pilot. Apollo 8 was the first crewed Saturn V launch.

Apollo 8 was supposed to be a test flight to simulate atmospheric re-entry from the Moon but never meant to go there. But then the Soviet Union successfully launched two successful uncrewed lunar missions -- Zond 5 and 6 -- and NASA's plans changed.  The rest, as they say, is history.

Learn more about the history of the Apollo 8 mission.

Image Credit: NASA



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