Aboard the USS Yorktown at Patriots Point is a replica Apollo 8 capsule where visitors can experience the mission. Apollo 8 was launched on December 21, 1968. Apollo 8 was the first human mission, in which the spacecraft left the Earth’s orbit. It was the first manned mission to orbit the moon.
There were three astronauts aboard Apollo 8: Commander Frank Borman, Command Module Pilot James Lovell, and Lunar Module Pilot William Anders. They were the first humans to see Earth as a whole planet, first humans to see Earthrise, and the first to see the far side of the moon.
Splashdown refers to the water landing of a spacecraft into the ocean or body of water. The Apollo 8 capsule parachuted into the ocean on December 28, 1968 at 10:51:42 a.m. EST. Apollo 8 landed in the Pacific Ocean. The crew and spacecraft were picked up at sea, by the USS Yorktown.
Learn more about the Space Age in Chasing the Moon. Chasing the Moon,” a film by Robert Stone, reimagines the race to the moon for a new generation, upending much of the conventional mythology surrounding the effort.
For educational assets to use in the classroom around Space Exploration, visit the Space Exploration Collection on Knowitall.org.
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