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  "The Legacy of Apollo 8" by Andrew Chaikin

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Author Topic:   "The Legacy of Apollo 8" by Andrew Chaikin
Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 42988
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-23-2008 09:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Andrew Chaikin, author of a "A Man on the Moon" and "A Passion for Mars", was kind to contribute a special guest essay to collectSPACE on the occasion of Apollo 8's 40th anniversary, contrasting Earthrise as photographed during the lunar mission and the Earth over Mars as relayed by the Spirit Mars Exploration Rover.
Orbiting the moon 40 years ago on Christmas Eve, 1968, Apollo 8 astronaut Bill Anders snapped a picture that would become an icon of the 20th century: Earth, rising beyond the Moon's barren and bleached horizon into the blackness of space. To Anders and his crewmates, Frank Borman and Jim Lovell, the loveliness of their home world was magnified by its smallness; from almost a quarter-million miles away, they could hide it behind an outstretched thumb.

And yet, as Anders later said, in going to the Moon they had barely left home.

Chaikin has also recently contributed essays about Apollo 8 to other publications:
  • Apollo 8: When Mankind First Shook Earth's Kindly Bounds
    (Scientific American)
    Imagine getting to sit down with Columbus and ask him what he thought and felt as he first set eyes on the New World. That's pretty much how it was for me when I interviewed Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and Bill Anders, the crew of Apollo 8, who made the first manned voyage around the moon in December 1968. The stories I heard from Borman, Lovell and Anders about their historic voyage were postcards from the edge of human experience. Before Apollo 8, "space travel" was just a figure of speech; they were the first astronauts to actually go somewhere. But as they fired the third stage of their Saturn 5 booster and headed out of Earth orbit, it was the leaving that had the greatest impact.

  • What next? (USA Today)
    Forty years ago, on Christmas Eve 1968, astronaut William Anders aimed his camera out the window of the moon-orbiting Apollo 8 spacecraft to record an unanticipated, breathtaking and never-before-witnessed sight by us: Earth, rising beyond the moon's barren and bleached horizon, an oasis of color and life in the black infinity of space. His photograph of the Earthrise -- which became an icon of the 20th century -- symbolized the "giant leap for mankind" NASA made with the Apollo missions. Those space ventures revealed scientific treasures only the moon possesses, gave us a priceless new perspective on our own world, and showed us that we are capable of doing seemingly impossible things.

All times are CT (US)

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