This famous “Earth Rise” picture was taken by the astronauts of Apollo 8, who entered orbit around the Moon on Christmas Eve, 1968. It reminds us of things not to be forgotten and those far from home, who should be remembered on this Christmas morning.
Click here for a full discussion of this famous first manned mission to the Moon, launched on December 21, 1968. It describes the mission objectives, involving a coordinated crew performance to demonstrate all detailed test objectives needed to support future lunar operations. All primary mission objectives and detailed test objectives were achieved — all launch vehicle and spacecraft systems performed according to plan, setting the stage for future manned missions to the Moon.
Most memorable perhaps was Neil Armstrong’s famous July 29, 1969 statement as he descended from the Apollo 11 Lunar Lander to take his first step on the Moon: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Click here for an interesting brief record of that historic achievement.
On that Apollo 8 mission, the Astronauts (Commander Frank Borman, Lunar Module Pilot William A. Anders and Command Module Pilot James A. Lovell Jr.) provided a worldwide telecast in real time on Christmas Eve. They read verses from the first chapter of Genesis and wished viewers, “Good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas and God bless all of you — all of you on the good Earth.”
Click here for a recording of that full historic message, and below is a transcript, with words still well worth pondering:
A Christmas Eve Prayer From Lunar Orbit
December 24, 1968
As Apollo 8 began its last lunar orbit, Astronaut William Anders said, “We are now approaching the lunar sunrise and for all people back on earth the crew of Apollo 8 has a message we would like to send to you.” The television camera aboard the spacecraft panned the lunar surface as Anders and his fellow astronauts recited in a medley the first eight verses of Genesis.
William Anders: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters and God said, let there be light. And there was light. And God saw the light and it was good, and God divided the light from the darkness.”
James Lovell: “And God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. And God said, let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters. And let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament. And divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament. And it was so. And God called that firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.”
Frank Borman: “And God said let the waters under the heavens be gathered together in one place. And let the dry land appear. And it was so. And God called the dry land earth. And the gathering together of the waters He called the seas. And God saw that it was good.”
“And from the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, a merry Christmas and God bless all of you — all of you on the good earth.”
We should ponder such an open declaration of our dependence on God’s blessings — now too often absent from our public discourse, especially as it applies to the true meaning of Christmas and the One born that morning two millennia ago.
Moreover, it reminds us that President Trump has challenged his team, especially a reenergized Space Council led by Vice President Mike Pence, to make plans to return to the Moon — hopefully as a step toward a manned mission to Mars, as long advocated by High Frontier.
May he succeed in that endeavor, as well as in building the most cost-effective ballistic missile defenses as advocated in the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) era — which was abruptly ended in January 1993 and has been dormant ever since. Those most cost effective defenses were to be based in space.
It’s time to go back to the future, indeed — especially in space!
What Can You Do?
Join us in praying for our nation, and for a rebirth of the freedom sought, achieved and passed to us by those who came before us.
Help us to spread our message to the grass roots and to encourage all “powers that be” to provide for the common defense as they are sworn to do.
Begin by passing this message to your friends and suggest they visit our webpage www.highfrontier.org, for more information. Also, please encourage your sphere of influence to sign up for our weekly e-newsletter.
Encourage them to review our past email messages, posted on www.highfrontier.org, to learn about many details related to the existential manmade and natural EMP threats and how we can protect America against them. I hope you will help us with our urgently needed efforts, which I will be discussing in future messages.
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