Man on the Moon

Apollo8_patchIf my math is right, December 21st is the 42nd anniversary of Apollo 8. The first manned flight to the Moon. On that day astronauts Lovell, Anders and Borman left the Earth for a 6 day mission to the moon for a live close-up view, as well as the first good look at the Earth from the vantage of space.

First Pics of Earth from Apollo 8Their pics of a blue and white watery world against an inky blackness, and that of "Earthrise" over the lunar limb were wondrous, and sparked an increased enthusiasm for the manned space program.

Mission Patch Apollo 11Seven months later Apollo 11 set off for the first manned landing on the moon. Armstrong and Aldrin touched down at Tranquility Base (under the Man in the Moon's left eye) on July 20th, 1969, while Collins orbited above them.

A dream was achieved. Mankind has walked on the moon. Over the next several years we visited the Moon 6 more times. The end of the era was marked when Apollo 17 splashed down in the Pacific Ocean on 19 December 1972, at 11:24:59 a.m. PST.

Mission Patch Apollo 17

The splashdown was 350 nautical miles South East of the Samoan Islands and 6.5 km (4 mi) from the recovery ship USS Ticonderoga. This was the last lunar lander mission, 36 years ago, and we are long overdue for a return to Luna.

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