Friday, 22 March, 2019

Crew Members of Apollo 8 Deliver Christmas Eve Message In 1968

"Earthrise Credit NASA
Doris Mccormick | 27 December, 2018, 19:01

"The only color that we could see and contrasted by this really unfriendly, stark lunar horizon, made me think, 'You know, we really live on a attractive little planet, ' " he said.

"And then at the end of the year, we had this moment to do this magnificent thing". I had no photographic background to speak of and had a very heavy schedule of taking pictures of the lunar surface [for] potential [moon] landing sites.

"Hand me a roll of color, quick!".

"Earthrise", as it would be called, went viral, or as viral as anything could in 1968, a time that saw all sorts of photographs leave their mark on the national consciousness, majority scars: The South Vietnamese general pointing his pistol at the soldier's head, point blank; the busboy tending to Robert F. Kennedy's lifeless body; the civil rights activists on the motel balcony pointing in the direction of Martin Luther King Jr.'s killer.

"It was in the turning-around, looking-forward process when I saw this thing coming out of the corner of my eye in the window".

Michael Smith, a history professor at Purdue University, which dubs itself "The Cradle of Astronauts" for training 24 of them, said with the journey of Apollo 8, "Americans had won a big part of the race to the moon".

Anders' Apollo 8 colleague Frank Borman, who commanded the mission, however, told BBC that the solar system needs "robust exploration". "I know my own impression is that it's a vast, lonely forbidding type existence, great expanse of nothing, that looks rather like clouds and clouds of pumice stone, and it certainly would not appear to be a very inviting place to live or work". On Christmas morning, mission control waited anxiously for word that Apollo 8's engine burn to leave lunar orbit had worked. He fired off a single frame in black and white while Lovell found him some color film. "I think the space shuttle was a serious error".

"It was hard to distinguish. but once they splashed down we could see two or three massive helicopters heading toward the splashdown point".

"People's interest did wane, but when you look at what's happening on Mars, you can see it heightening again".

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Back in Houston, meanwhile, a limousine driver knocked on Marilyn Lovell's door and handed her a gift-wrapped mink stole with a card that read: "To Marilyn, Merry Christmas from the man in the moon". "When you start to see the actual items you have in the museum in this historical archival footage with have those exact items, that's pretty exciting to see", said Chris Henry, museum programs coordinator. An investigation of transcripts later revealed that Borman, who was the first to recognise the importance of the moment, took a black-and-white photo before Anders snapped the iconic colour photograph.

We had had no discussion on the ground, no briefing, no instructions on what to do.

Perhaps most significant is the impact it had on the environmental movement. And, sadly, most people have forgotten all about it.

"In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth, and the earth was without form, and void". Photos of Earth from the darkness of space stunned the world.

EPIC's goal is to provide multiple images of Earth per day, to allow us to see how the world is changing over time.

"Thank you for saving 1968".

Popular Mechanics: "Why Apollo 8 Mattered" - "The small step for man, the giant leap for mankind, Eagle One, Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong-Apollo 11 gets all the glory". "And I think in a way we helped to heal it".

Christmas and God bless all of you - all of you on the good Earth'.

Story produced by Reid Orvedahl.

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