Manned Lunar Trip|
James Lovell, Jr.
Dec. 21, 1968
7:51 a.m. EST
|Dec. 27, 1968|
10:51 a.m. EST
|Duration||6 days, 3 hours,|
0 min., 42 seconds
Apollo 8 was the second
human flight in the program and the first human lunar orbit mission.
It was the first manned flight using a Saturn V launch vehicle.
Astronauts Frank Borman, James A. Lovell Jr. and William A. Anders
became the first humans to see the far side of the Moon.
The mission achieved
operational experience and tested the Apollo Command Module systems,
including communications, tracking and life-support, in cislunar
space and lunar orbit, and allowed evaluation of crew performance
on a lunar orbiting mission. The crew photographed the lunar surface,
both farside and nearside, obtaining information on topography
and landmarks as well as other scientific information necessary
for future Apollo landings.
The Apollo 8 spacecraft
consisted of a Command Module similar to Apollo 7 except that
the forward pressure and ablative hatches were replaced by a combined
forward hatch, which would be used for transfer to the Lunar Module
on later missions. The spacecraft mass of 28,817 kilograms (63,531
pounds) is the mass of the Command and Service Module, including
propellants and expendables. A Lunar Module was not used on the
Apollo 8 mission, but a Lunar Module Test Article which was equivalent
in mass -- 9,027 kilograms (19,901 pounds) -- to a Lunar Module
was mounted in the spacecraft/launch vehicle adapter as ballast
for mass loading purposes.