Fifty years ago on the Apollo 8 mission NASA astronauts Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and William Anders celebrated the first holiday season in space while entering orbit around the moon on Christmas Eve.
Today, an international crew of astronauts including NASA’s Anne McClain, Russia’s and Oleg Kononenko and Canada’s David Saint-Jacques are celebrating the holidays circling the Earth in the International Space Station.
In this video McLain and Saint-Jacques send holiday greetings to everyone on Earth and talk about what the holidays mean to them along with sharing some of the treats they’ll eat which include smoked turkey breast, cranberry sauce, candied yams, fruitcake and other desserts. Saint-Jacques also brought some smoked salmon for each of his crewmates.
The 1968 Apollo 8 Mission
50 years ago, three NASA astronauts embarked on a journey that would take them “Round the moon and back”. The Apollo 8 mission proved the performance of the command and service module in preparation of the future Apollo 11 mission that would see the first humans set foot on the moon.
The historic mission launched on December 21, 1968 and would also demonstrate a lunar trajectory and was also the first crewed launch of the Saturn V rocket. On Christmas Eve, Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and Bill Anders were the first humans to orbit the Moon and the first to see an Earthrise above its surface.
The following two short videos, one which discusses the mission from the astronauts perspective, and the other a holiday story titled “’Twas the Apollo Before Christmas”, have just been released by NASA.
Apollo 8: Around The Moon and Back
‘Twas the Apollo Before Christmas