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.