Apollo 8: A Story of Christmas Around the Moon


THE SPACE RACE WAS
A COMPETITION OF ECONOMICS, TECHNOLOGY, AND POLITICS.
IN THE 1960s, THE UNITED STATES AND THE SOVIET UNION WERE BOTH
SEEKING HIGHER GROUND. EACH COUNTRY WAS STOCKPILING
NUCLEAR ARMS AND ADVANCING MISSILE TECHNOLOGY.
THE SOVIETS HAD BEEN THE FIRST TO ORBIT BOTH A SATELLITE
AND A HUMAN. THEY WERE CLEARLY AHEAD.
I’M NASA ADMINISTRATOR JIM BRIDENSTINE.
FOR FIVE YEARS, I SERVED IN THE U.S. CONGRESS
ON THE SCIENCE COMMITTEE, WHICH OVERSEES NASA.
WRITTEN ON THE WALL IS A SCRIPTURE:
“WHERE THERE IS NO VISION, “THE PEOPLE PERISH.”
ON MAY 25, 1961, PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY
PRESENTED CONGRESS WITH THE MOST INSPIRATIONAL VISION
IN HISTORY– AND HE GAVE IT A DEADLINE.
I BELIEVE THAT THIS NATION SHOULD COMMIT ITSELF
TO ACHIEVING THE GOAL BEFORE THIS DECADE IS OUT
OF LANDING A MAN ON THE MOON AND RETURNING HIM SAFELY
TO THE EARTH. THIS VISION WAS PLACED
IN JEOPARDY WHEN, IN 1967, THE APOLLO 1 FIRE KILLED
GUS GRISSOM, ED WHITE, AND ROGER CHAFFEE.
AND THEN IN 1968, THE UNCREWED APOLLO 6 MISSION
ALSO FAILED. STILL, THE SOVIETS PLANNED
TO FLY AROUND THE MOON AS EARLY AS THE END OF 1968.
SO NASA MADE AGGRESSIVE AND EVEN DANGEROUS PLANS.
THE PLAN WAS TO SKIP TWO APOLLO TEST FLIGHTS,
DROP THE MOON LANDER, AND GO DIRECTLY TO LUNAR ORBIT
WITH HUMANS. AT A TIME WHEN NOBODY HAD
EVER FLOWN MORE THAN 850 MILES ABOVE THE EARTH,
NASA PLANNED TO FLY 240,000 MILES TO THE MOON. NASA CONSIDERED THE RISKS.
THE SATURN V ROCKET HAD NEVER FLOWN A CREW BEFORE.
ITS PREVIOUS MISSION WAS A FAILURE.
CRITICAL COMPONENTS WERE NOT READY, SUCH AS MISSION CONTROL,
COMMUNICATION NETWORKS, SOFTWARE AND INSTRUMENTATION.
TRAJECTORIES AND NAVIGATION WERE NOT EVEN UNDERSTOOD
LET ALONE CALCULATED. AN ASTRONAUT CREW
AND A FLIGHT CONTROL TEAM WERE NOT TRAINED, AND THERE WAS
NO ABILITY TO RECOVER THE CREW IF THEY RETURNED AT ALL.
FINALLY, WITHOUT A MOON LANDER, APOLLO 8 WOULD HAVE
ONLY A SINGLE ENGINE. IT WOULD NEED TO BE REIGNITED
MANY TIMES TO GET TO THE MOON, TO ENTER LUNAR ORBIT,
TO CHANGE ORBITS WHILE AT THE MOON, TO EXIT LUNAR ORBIT,
AND TO FLY BACK TO EARTH. IN THE PREVIOUS MISSION,
THAT SINGLE ENGINE FAILED TO REIGNITE EVEN ONCE.
IF IT FAILED NOW, OUR ASTRONAUTS WOULD BE
LOST FOREVER. THE OPTIMUM EARTH MOON ALIGNMENT
WOULD PLACE APOLLO 8 IN ORBIT AROUND THE MOON IN JUST
FOUR SHORT MONTHS. A DANGEROUSLY AGGRESSIVE
SCHEDULE GIVEN ALL THAT WAS NEEDED TO BE ACCOMPLISHED.
EVEN MORE WORRISOME, OUR ASTRONAUTS WOULD BE
IN LUNAR ORBIT ON CHRISTMAS DAY. ANY FAILURE WOULD WRECK
CHRISTMAS FOR THE ENTIRE NATION. NASA WORKED OVERTIME.
AND NASA WAS DEDICATED. ON CHRISTMAS EVE, FRANK BORMAN,
JIM LOVELL, AND BILL ANDERS WERE THE FIRST HUMANS
TO ORBIT THE MOON, AND THE FIRST HUMANS
TO SEE AN EARTHRISE ABOVE THE MOON’S SURFACE.
AS THEY ORBITED THE MOON, THEY MADE THEIR LAST BROADCAST
BEFORE ATTEMPTING TO REIGNITE THEIR SINGLE ENGINE
TO RETURN HOME. THIS BROADCAST WAS SEEN OR HEARD
BY ONE OUT OF EVERY FOUR PEOPLE ON THE EARTH,
INCLUDING THE PEOPLE BEHIND THE SOVIET UNION’S IRON CURTAIN,
WHERE CHRISTMAS WAS STILL ILLEGAL.
THIS WAS THEIR MESSAGE. FOR ALL THE PEOPLE
BACK ON EARTH, THE CREW OF APOLLO 8 HAS A MESSAGE THAT
WE WOULD LIKE TO SEND TO 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. “AND IT WAS GOOD.
“AND GOD DIVIDED THE LIGHT “FROM THE DARKNESS.”
“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.”>>”AND GOD SAID, “‘LET
“‘THE WATERS UNDER THE HEAVEN “‘BE GATHERED TOGETHER
“‘INTO 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.”
AND FROM THE CREW OF APOLLO 8, WE CLOSE WITH GOODNIGHT,
GOOD LUCK, A MERRY CHRISTMAS, AND GOD BLESS ALL OF YOU,
ALL OF YOU ON THE GOOD EARTH. TODAY, WE ARE STILL
STRIVING FOR HIGHER GROUND. THIS TIME, WE’RE DOING IT
WITH OUR INTERNATIONAL PARTNERS, INCLUDING RUSSIA.
THIS HOLIDAY SEASON, REMEMBER NASA’S DARING FEAT OF 1968.
THINK ABOUT THE PEOPLE WHO RISKED THEIR LIVES,
AND THE PEOPLE WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES TO PRESERVE
OUR FREEDOMS, INCLUDING THE FREEDOM TO CELEBRATE
CHRISTMAS. MERRY CHRISTMAS, HAPPY NEW YEAR,
AND AD ASTRA. [ MUSIC ]

100 thoughts on “Apollo 8: A Story of Christmas Around the Moon”

  1. its god always god he is doing everything and he can die everything in a second i am the fear of god more then anything else and his name is not only god … he have a 99 names and it is these names is i give u tow of them is the merciful and the powers … and god bless you all much love and safed

  2. I was only 10 years old when all this happened..I remember The Astronauts words very well as they orbited the Moon and we saw the images that was broadcast into our lounge rooms and then I like many millions of people around the world saw it for the very first time the Earth from the Moon.

  3. you shoulkd had psot the vidieo on the 24th of december and i wish i could wprk for your company btw im 14 years old

  4. I was very interested in NASA since in the early years , instead I’ll try to get my son , Aiman to get join the NASA Agency in the future !!!

  5. Per aspera ad astra (or, less commonly, ad astra per aspera) is a popular Latin phrase meaning "through hardship to the stars". The phrase is one of the many Latin sayings that use the expression ad astra, meaning "to the stars".

  6. Por favor tengan cuidado con thanos Ese Cabron va a morir …Todos Unidos avengers fufufu rut taatta ta tata Al Ataque 😠

  7. Actually Christmas was legal in the soviet union, you could do every religion you like at home – religion was just not tought in school and no official state holidays were based on religion – but hey, the christians always feel repressed for some reason

  8. This does nothing but show the desperate attempt by the current administration to re-infect science with the religion virus. They just look stupid everywhere. It's actually sad to see it extend to NASA, a beloved science organization. It's also sad to see adults believe in fairy tales. Real sad.

  9. Bismillah Allahou Al RAM hamani Al RAM hyimi
    Certainement Le 1tousmort Al massad mais le 31 ي ا ث ر.
    س و
    ي م ج ،

  10. I have a question why not if a asteroid were to hit earth why not use a rocket or in fact multiple rockets to deflect its course and I understand that the fuel needed for something like that is astronomical haha get it Astro-nomical ok that was bad but why would we rather to try destroy the asteroid it making damages yes less impactful but the law of conservation of mass states that well why am I telling you guys these it states that mass cannot created or destroyed you would destroy it but there is a chance where debris from the asteroid may still hit earth and cause significant damage. I am a young kid I don’t know much about science but it seems great.

  11. look at him, so what you go and feed your homeless people first, but yeah government doesn't care you are done in earth and made blood shet now go to space and screw it.

  12. Ahem, NASA. I don't expect you to follow my own philosophies. However, as an aspiring President Of the United States of America, I would like to share with you my own personal opinion. Religions are a little bit like … underpants. A lot of people use underpants, they wear them, they collect them, what-have-you. But one thing many people avoid is talking about or sharing their underpants. If you asked me, en confided, I would certainly tell you about my underpants as well as my own spirituality or just one and or the other… Please stop sharing your religion with me. I love your content about space exploration and the United States of America's future in space and our history in space. I have my own spirituality I wear it with pride but it's private and sacred to me. Thanks for taking the time to read and understand what I have to say. I'm willing to tolerate your own shortcomings but I would enjoy it much more if your content was less personal in the spiritual aspects.

    Sincerely, your future President of the United States of America,
    Dylan K.C. Childs

  13. Im a kid from panama i have 11 years when i am an adult i want to work in nasa i spent time see videos of space i love see these type of videos i want to work here. Is my dream

  14. Some may say religion is stupid, or god is not real, but honestly, religion is there to inspire us, to feel safe that someone is keeping us safe. That's true religion, it gives you power to be brave and achieve the unachieveable!

  15. "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." So ended the TV broadcast, 50 years ago, of the first three humans to orbit the Moon. 1968 had been a turbulent year, filled with anti vietnam riots, and the assasinations of M.L. King and Robert Kennedy. As that turbulent year was winding to a close, three astronauts had ventured to orbit our most prominent night light to show what we could accomplish united under one flag. They looked back from the barren landscape of the Moon to the whole extent of human history that they could now cover with their thumb, the Earth. As they did this, they recalled the words of the Lord pertaining to the creation of that small dot. They began to read them on live television to an estimated audience of 3 billion. The words of the scripture even reached the then U.S.S.R. where Christmas was illegal. Fifty years later, let us not forget the God who created all things and declared them "good". And from my second favorite Christmas Story I wish you a "good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas – and God bless all of you, all of you on the good Earth."
    Merry Christmas Everyone

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