December 21, 1968 Apollo 8 Orbits the Moon


Kennedy NASA

On December 21st, 1968, Frank Borman, James A. Lovell, Jr., and William A. Anders blasted off in Apollo 8. Their six-day mission began atop a Saturn 5 rocket and took them on man's first orbit of the moon. The astronauts' live broadcast on Christmas Eve from lunar orbit will long be remembered. Apollo 8 successfully splashed down in the Pacific on December 27th.