It was forty years ago this week that Apollo 8 astronaut William A Anders took this famous photograph of the Earth appearing over the Moon’s horizon. I was six years old at the time but remember the considerable interest caused by the mission, the first to leave the Earth and orbit the Moon, and I was old enough to appreciate that the flight path of the capsule formed a figure eight. This was the beginning of a four-year obsession with the Apollo missions, taking in model kits, jacket patches of spacecraft insignia and an eager viewing of every TV transmission. (Although I missed the first Moon landing a year later as it was after my bedtime.) I was convinced that by 2008 many of us would be living in space; a part of me remains disappointed that we’re not.


The above graphic comes from the quaintly primitive Apollo 8 press kit which can be downloaded from one of NASA’s pages. On another page there’s the crew’s Christmas message to the world which controversially included readings from the Bible. And as usual with NASA you can see William Anders’ photo in a variety of sizes including luscious high-res. The impact of his picture may have diminished over the the past four decades but its import as an ecological symbol remains as pertinent as it was in 1968.

Things will be quiet here over the next few days while I visit family but I’ll be leaving the archive plug-in running for anyone who wants a random dip into the past. If you need some more retro space thrills there’s always this.

Have a good one.


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