Spending Christmas Around the Moon

When John F. Kennedy kicked off the space race by announcing the goal of landing on the moon by the end of the decade, it was one of the biggest crunch times in history. The newly-formed NASA faced the nearly-impossible task of not only getting there but designing and building the multitude of systems required to make the trip. On December 21, 1968, Apollo 8 launched and put three astronauts in orbit around the moon. Flying on largely untested equipment, the mission was a success as the crew spent Christmas watching the Earth rise over the horizon of the moon.

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