Apollo 8 launched 40 years ago today. This was to be the first time humans would ever orbit the moon and laid the foundation for the Apollo 11 Landing in July 1969.
Believe it or not, Apollo 8 was also the most dangerous of the Apollo missions to the moon. All of the future missions took with them a lunar module (the spider bit that landed on the moon) while Apollo 8 simply took a test device of the same weight. During Apollo 13, the lunar module ended up being used as a life raft for power.
The astronauts of Apollo 8 achieved a speed of 10,822 metres per second (38,959 Km per hour) during their trip to the moon.
They also took the following legendary photo:
Lets home Obama doesn’t pull the plug on the moon visits planned for 2020.
More information on Apollo 8 is available from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_8.