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.
|Mission type||Crewed lunar orbiter|
|Mission duration||6 days, 3 hours, 42 seconds|
|Manufacturer||North American Rockwell|
|Landing mass||4,979 kilograms (10,977 lb)|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||December 21, 1968, 12:51:00UTC|
|Rocket||Saturn V SA-503[n 1]|
|Launch site||Kennedy LC-39A|
|End of mission|
|Recovered by||USS Yorktown|
|Landing date||December 27, 1968, 15:51:42UTC|
|Landing site||North Pacific Ocean|
|Perigee||184.40 kilometers (99.57 nmi)|
|Apogee||185.18 kilometers (99.99 nmi)|
|Epoch||December 21, 1968, ~13:02 UTC|
|Orbital insertion||December 24, 1968, 9:59:20 UTC|
|Orbital departure||December 25, 1968, 6:10:17 UTC|
|Periselene||110.6 kilometers (59.7 nmi)|
|Aposelene||112.4 kilometers (60.7 nmi)|
Left to right: Lovell, Anders, Borman
- "Apollo 8". NASA. July 9, 2009. Retrieved November 25, 2018.
- "Apollo 8 Press Kit" (PDF) (Press kit). NASA. December 15, 1968. pp. 33–34. Release No. 68-208. Retrieved June 28, 2013. – The spacecraft mass at launch includes the CM and SM, but excludes the 4,000 kilograms (8,900 lb) Launch Escape System (LES), which was discarded before reaching Earth orbit.
- "Pre-Launch Mission Operation Report No. M-932-68-08" (PDF) (Memorandum). NASA. December 17, 1968. p. 30. M-932-68-08. Retrieved February 12, 2019.
- "Apollo 8 Mission Report" (PDF). NASA. February 1969. p. A-14. MSC-PA-R-69-1. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 2, 2013. Retrieved June 28, 2013. – The mass for LTA-B was less than that of a flying LM, because it was essentially a boilerplate descent stage. A fully loaded, flight-ready LM, like the Eagle from Apollo 11, had a mass of 15,095 kilograms (33,278 lb), including propellants.
- "Apollo 8 Mission Report" (PDF). NASA. February 1969. p. 3-2. MSC-PA-R-69-1. Retrieved June 28, 2013.
- "Apollo 8 Mission Report" (PDF). NASA. February 1969. p. 3-1. MSC-PA-R-69-1. Retrieved May 8, 2015.