Some background on the Apollo 8 Mission:
Apollo 8 was launched from Cape Kennedy at 7:50am EST on December 21, 1968. The crew consisted of Col. Frank Borman (Commander), Capt. James Lovell (Command Module Pilot) and Maj. William Anders (Lunar Module Pilot). 69 hours and 8 minutes after liftoff Apollo 8 was in orbit around the Moon. The Apollo 8 Command Module “Columbia” remained in 10 lunar orbits before the transearth injection burn. The Apollo 8 mission was completed on the morning of December 27th when splashdown occurred in the Pacific Ocean after a total mission elapsed time of 147 hours.
Apollo 8 was the second crewed mission of the Apollo Program and the first human mission to escape the gravitational field of the Earth and the first crewed mission to travel to and return from another celestial body – our Moon.
Photo credit: Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum