Apollo 8Apollo 8 was launched on December 21, 1968. It went into lunar orbit on December 24, 1968, and returned to Earth on December 27, 1968.
The crew of Apollo 8 consisted of Frank Borman (Commander), James A. Lovell (Command Module Pilot), and William A. Anders (Lunar Module Pilot).
On December 24, 1968, after Apollo 8 entered lunar orbit, the astronauts did a live television broadcast in which they showed pictures of the Earth and Moon as seen from their spacecraft.
Lovell said, "The vast loneliness is awe-inspiring and it makes you realize just what you have back there on Earth." They ended the broadcast with the crew taking turns reading from the book of Genesis.
William Anders: "For all the people on Earth the crew of Apollo 8 has a message we would like to send you.
"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.
And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness."
Jim Lovell: "And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day."
Frank Borman: "And God said, Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good."
Borman then added, "And from the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas, and God bless all of you - all of you on the good Earth."