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Apollo 8 facts for kids

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Apollo 8
A black sky with a grey, cratered lunar horizon. A small blue Earth with scattered white clouds is just above the horizon, with about two-thirds of the Earth lit by the sun and the remainder in darkness.
Earthrise
taken from Apollo 8 by William Anders
Mission type Crewed lunar orbiter
Operator NASA
Mission duration 6 days, 3 hours, 42 seconds
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft
Manufacturer North American Rockwell
Launch mass
  • CSM: 28,870 kilograms (63,650 lb)
  • CM:5,621 kilograms (12,392 lb)
  • SM:23,250 kilograms (51,258 lb)
  • SC/LM Adapter (connects LTA to CSM): 1,840 kilograms (4,060 lb)
  • LTA: 9,000 kilograms (19,900 lb)
Landing mass 4,979 kilograms (10,977 lb)
Crew
Crew size 3
Members
Callsign Apollo 8
Start of mission
Launch date December 21, 1968, 12:51:00 (1968-12-21UTC12:51Z) UTC
Rocket Saturn V SA-503
Launch site Kennedy LC-39A
End of mission
Recovered by USS Yorktown
Landing date December 27, 1968, 15:51:42 (1968-12-27UTC15:51:43Z) UTC
Landing site North Pacific Ocean
8°8′N 165°1′W / 8.133°N 165.017°W / 8.133; -165.017 (Apollo 8 landing)
Orbital parameters
Perigee 184.40 kilometers (99.57 nmi)
Apogee 185.18 kilometers (99.99 nmi)
Inclination 32.15 degrees
Period 88.19 minutes
Epoch December 21, 1968, ~13:02 UTC
Revolution no. 2
Lunar orbiter
Spacecraft component CSM
Orbital insertion December 24, 1968, 9:59:20 UTC
Orbital departure December 25, 1968, 6:10:17 UTC
Orbits 10
Orbit parameters
Periselene 110.6 kilometers (59.7 nmi)
Aposelene 112.4 kilometers (60.7 nmi)
Inclination 12 degrees
Apollo-8-patch.png Apollo 8 Crewmembers - GPN-2000-001125.jpg
Left to right: Lovell, Anders, Borman

Apollo 8 was a mission in the Apollo program in December 1968. It was the first manned spaceflight to leave Earth orbit and first to orbit the Moon. Commander Frank Borman, Pilot Jim Lovell and Bill Anders transmitted a television show while they were in orbit. The Apollo Lunar Module that could land on the Moon had not yet been built, so they went in the Apollo Command/Service Module and photographed and studied the Moon from above. Ten orbits around the Moon took twenty hours. After that, they fired their rockets and returned to Earth.

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