Special Report

20 Facts You Need to Know About the Apollo 8 Mission

Source: 127906254@N06 / Flickr


Apollo 8’s re-entry velocity clocked in at 24,696 mph, and the heat-shield temperatures soared to 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The spacecraft splashed down in the Pacific Ocean on Dec. 27, southwest of Hawaii, and was retrieved by the USS Yorktown, 147 hours after launch. The Command Module is now located at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, where it has been since 1971.

Source: Time Magazine

Accolades from Time magazine

The crew of Apollo 8 were named Time magazine’s “Men of the Year” in 1968.

Source: NASA / Bill Anders

Enduring photo

One of the most famous outcomes of the flight was the “Earthrise” picture that was taken as the crew came around for their fourth orbit of the moon. “Earthrise” was selected by Life magazine as one of 100 photos that changed the world and is also credited with helping to boost the environmental movement. It was also the subject of commemorative stamp.

Source: Florida Memory / Flickr

Super Bowl appearance

Before Super Bowl III on Jan. 12, 1969, the Apollo 8 crew recited the Pledge of Allegiance before the performance of the national anthem. Maybe the presence of the astronauts inspired the New York Jets, who beat the heavily favored Baltimore Colts in one of the biggest sports upsets ever.

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