55 45 years ago last night

Something quite remarkable happened. For the first time, men were in position to see the Earth rise over another heavenly body, on the Apollo 8 circumlunar mission. This video from the Goddard Space Flight Center shows how the three astronauts teamed up to take an iconic photograph.

This happened off the air, at least as far as the public is concerned. The audio in that video came from the spacecraft voice recorder.

The broadcast that evening, the one that those of us who were alive at the time of Apollo 8 in 1968 heard, was different. The astronauts read an excerpt from the Book of Genesis in the King James version of the Bible. All America, and much of the world, listened. Some inconsequential, since-forgotten militant atheist later tried to sue the astronauts and NASA. We couldn’t figure out how to embed the file, so we have to send you to the horse’s mouth, as it were.

http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/image/as8_genesis1a.mov

We have more to say, but this is not the day to be on topic. Instead, we give you this off-topic but very much on-point post, and sign off with a line cribbed from that broadcast from lunar orbit:

Merry Christmas, and God bless all of you on the good Earth.

Update:

Uh, yeah, correction on the fifty-five versus forty-five thing. Thanks, guys. I will not draft posts at 0300. I will not draft posts at 0300. I will not draft posts….

5 thoughts on “55 45 years ago last night

  1. Bill T

    What could be added? AWESOME!

    I remember this. It is as awesome now as it was then.
    MERRY CHRISTMAS! May God Bless America and may we become worthy of blessing again.

  2. Bruce

    They were up on the moon and there I was in a night ambush in a RVN rice paddy. The report came over the radio and was quietly passed to us. I can still remember wondering how we could get up there and still have thousands of us in harms way in the Nam.

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