Apollo 8: First broadcast from the Moon

The Apollo 8 mission in December 1968 was a bright spot at the end of an otherwise bleak year in American history. After riots and the assassinations of MLK and RFK, people watched in awe as the three astronauts broadcast the first live pictures from the moon. The astronauts also captured astonishing photographs which revealed the fragility and isolation of our planet. The most famous, Earthrise by Bill Anders, has become one of history’s most influential images.

Apollo 8 took three days to travel to the Moon. It orbited ten times over the course of 20 hours. The crew made two television broadcasts. At the time, these broadcasts were the most watched TV programs ever.

Borman, Lovell and Anders made the second television broadcast at 55 hours into the flight. In it, the crew would broadcast the first television pictures of the Earth.

Lunar Module Pilot Bill Anders, Command Module Pilot Jim Lovell, and Commander Frank Borman — the first humans to travel beyond low Earth orbit, the first to see Earth as a whole planet, the first to see to the Moon and then the first to directly see the far side of the Moon.
Lunar Module Pilot Bill Anders, Command Module Pilot Jim Lovell, and Commander Frank Borman — the first humans to travel beyond low Earth orbit, the first to see Earth as a whole planet, the first to see to the Moon and then the first to directly see the far side of the Moon.

Apollo astronaut training in Iceland

Astronaut Bill Anders training in Iceland in 1967.
Astronaut Bill Anders training in Iceland in 1967.

In 1965 and 1967, two groups of Apollo astronauts traveled to Iceland to study geology. Among the astronauts in the 1967 group were Neil Armstrong and Bill Anders. Bill was on the crew of Apollo 8, the first flight to and around the Moon. Neil was the first man to walk on the Moon.

Learn more:
– Geology training of Apollo astronauts in Iceland
– 2015 re-visit of Apollo astronauts to Iceland