During the Apollo era, North American-Downey built the Apollo Command & Service Module. After each completed spacecraft, Nasa conducted formal reviews of the build paper work before each vehicle was accepted for flight.
“We are now approaching lunar sunrise, and for all the people back on Earth, the crew of Apollo 8 has a message that we would like to send to you.”
“‘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, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.'”
“‘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 the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.’”
“‘And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto 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 called he 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.”
Lovell completed four space flights and is one of only three men to travel to the Moon twice. Lovell accrued over 715 hours spent in space, and he saw a total of 269 sunrises from space on his Gemini and Apollo flights.
At thirty-six, Haise was the youngest member of the crew of Apollo 13, and his black hair and angular features made him seem younger still.
John Leonard Swigert Jr. aka Jack Swigert was born on August 30, 1931 in Denver, Colorado to parents John Leonard Sr. and Virginia Swigert.
Just before the mission began things started to go wrong. The weekend before launch Charlie Duke, the backup lunar module pilot, came down with a case of German measles.
Targeted for touchdown on the third lunar landing was a place known as the Fra Mauro range, a stretch of rugged, Appalachian-type mounds 110 miles east of the Apollo 12 landing site.
Ten days ago, their Saturn V rocket had blasted Bean and his crew mates out of earth’s gravitational pull. Now their home planet was pulling them back at more than 24,000 miles per hour, twelve times faster than a high-speed rifle bullet. “Boy,” said Bean, “we are really hauling!”