for fellow travellers

Friday, October 23, 2009

Traveling to the moon

This is a video we shot at the Kennedy space centre in the summer of 2007. That was our last day in Orlando. Shaleen drove us in our rented car to the Centre. After 6days of covering the theme parks, one on each day, we saw the Space Centre on our last and seventh day. It was a fantastic experience. I am sharing this experience of the Apollo 8 launch with you.

The furthest destination for a human spaceflight mission has been the Moon, and as of 2009 the only missions to the Moon have been those conducted by NASA as part of the Apollo program. The first such mission, Apollo 8, orbited the Moon but did not land. The first Moon landing mission was Apollo 11, during which—on July 20, 1969—Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first people to set foot on the Moon. Six missions landed in total, numbered Apollo 11–17, excluding Apollo 13. Altogether twelve men walked on the Moon, the only humans to have been on an extraterrestrial body.
Apollo 8 was the first human spaceflight mission to achieve a velocity sufficient to allow escape from the gravitational field of planet Earth; the first to be captured by and escape from the gravitational field of another celestial body; and the first crewed voyage to return to planet Earth from another celestial body - Earth's Moon. The three-man crew of Mission Commander Frank Borman, Command Module Pilot James Lovell, and Lunar Module Pilot William Anders became the first humans to see the far side of the Moon with their own eyes, as well as the first humans to see planet Earth from beyond low Earth orbit. The mission was accomplished with the first manned launch of a Saturn V rocket. Apollo 8 was the second manned mission of the Apollo Program.
After launching on December 21, 1968, the crew took three days to travel to the Moon. They orbited ten times over the course of 20hours, during which the crew made a Christmas Eve television broadcast in which they read the first 10 verses from the Book of Genesis. The crew timed this reading to coincide with a full view of planet Earth hanging in the empty blackness of space, clearly showing the rich diversity of the living planet, as indicated in Earth's colors, seas, landforms, and weather patterns, rising over the dull gray horizon of the lifeless Moon. At the time, the broadcast was the most watched TV program ever. Apollo8's successful mission paved the way for Apollo 11 to fulfill U.S. President John F. Kennedy's goal of landing a man on the Moon.

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