NASA to Air Administrator’s Message Marking Agency 60th Anniversary. Apollo 8 was the first crewed spacecraft to leave low Earth orbit and the first to reach the Moon, orbit it, and return. While scouting landing spots on the moon, the astronauts of Apollo 8 — Frank Borman, William A. Anders and James A. Lovell, Jr. — spied the shiny blue … Editor: Yvette Smith. It's been 50 years since NASA’s critical Apollo 8, the first manned spacecraft to leave Earth, orbit the moon and return. The Apollo Lunar Module, or simply Lunar Module (LM, pronounced "lem"), originally designated the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM), was the lander spacecraft that was flown from lunar orbit to the Moon's surface during the U.S. Apollo program.It was the first crewed spacecraft to operate exclusively in the airless vacuum of space, and remains the only crewed vehicle to land anywhere beyond Earth. Apollo 17 (December 7–19, 1972) was the final Moon landing mission of NASA's Apollo program, and remains the most recent time humans have travelled beyond low Earth orbit.

The bold and risky mission paved the way for the moon landing … 8 Little-Known Facts About the Moon Landing When Neil Armstrong stepped down a ladder and onto the moon on July 20, 1969, the nation achieved an audacious vision. Taken aboard Apollo 8 by Bill Anders, this iconic picture shows Earth peeking out from beyond the lunar surface as the first crewed spacecraft circumnavigated the Moon. Its crew consisted of Commander Eugene Cernan, Lunar Module Pilot Harrison Schmitt, and Command Module Pilot Ronald Evans, and it carried a biological experiment containing five mice. The Pillars of Creation. Though people on Earth were already celebrating an equally successful and trailblazing mission, NASA’s Mission Control in Houston refused to relax until its three ambassadors were safely back home. An important prelude to actually landing on the Moon was testing the flight trajectory and operations for getting there and back. Last Updated: Feb. 22, 2018. Christmas morning of 1968, the Apollo 8 crew fired its service module engines to propel them out of lunar orbit and back to their families at home. After Apollo 8, the Apollo 10 mission brought the lunar lander to within 50,000 feet (15,200 meters) of the moon's surface, to simulate a landing. NASA's 60th Anniversary - Live! Apollo 8 was the first mission to take humans to the Moon and back. Then, in 1969, Apollo …



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