Kuiper poses with the Apollo 8 command module.

Apollo 8

Kuiper strikes a pose with Apollo 8.

Huge thanks to @msichicago for allowing me to bring Kuiper after hours and photograph him with this historic spacecraft, as well as Mercury-Atlas 7.

Apollo 11 was our 1st Moon landing, but it wasn’t our 1st visit to the Moon. On December 24, 1968, crewmen Frank Borman, Jim Lovell & Bill Anders had a very special Christmas Eve onboard Apollo 8. From 9:30-10 pm EST, they did a live TV broadcast from lunar orbit. This was the most watched TV show up to that point in history, attracting about a billion viewers (or 25% of everyone on Earth!)


Borman: “The Moon is a different thing to each one of us. I think that each one of us – each one carries his own impression of what he’s seen today. I know my own impression is that it’s a vast, lonely forbidding type existence, great expanse of nothing, that looks rather like clouds and clouds of pumice stone, and it certainly would not appear to be a very inviting place to live or work.”

Lovell: “Well, Frank, my thoughts were very similar; the vast loneliness up here of the Moon is awe-inspiring, and it makes you realize just what you have back there on earth. The Earth from here is a grand oasis in the big vastness of space.”

Anders: “I think the thing that impressed me most was the lunar sunrises and sunsets. These, in particular bring out the stark nature of the terrain, and the long shadows really bring out the relief that is here and hard to see in this very bright surface that we’re going over right now.”

The crew spent most of their broadcast describing various craters and other features on the moon to their viewers, before reading the first 10 verses of Genesis and ending with:

“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.”

Original post: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bz1NuE4l7Qc/

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