Sending astronauts to Mars would be stupid, astronaut says

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And that was just when things were getting exciting because now we've seen the Earth not only from the Moon, but we've seen it from Mars, we've seen it from Saturn....

"And then at the end of the year, we had this moment to do this magnificent thing". It took almost three days for the crew to reach the moon, and after a tense four minute engine burn - which could have flung them into space or crashed them onto the Moon's surface -they successfully entered orbit.

"Hand me a roll of color quick, will you", he said. The following year it became a United States postage stamp and would go on to adorn countless T-shirts, magazine covers and works of art. Life magazine labelled it one of the "100 photographs that changed the world", while Time include it as one of the 100 most influential images of all time.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine - who at age 43 missed Apollo - marvels over the gutsy decision in August that year to launch astronauts to the moon in four months' time.

SHEEHAN: I still have the magazine where I first saw that image. "Although it now seems beyond doubt that Anders actually snapped the famous picture, it also seems fair to say the picture came as a result of the combined efforts of all three astronauts".

William Anders, left, James A. Lovell Jr., and Frank Borman were the first astronauts to orbit the moon on December 24, 1968. It would require the most powerful rocket ever built, the Saturn V, to propel Apollo 8 beyond earth orbit. "It's an incredible feat", said Dr Hopwood, now an environmental earth scientist at Huddersfield University, where he continues to take a keen interest in space missions and astronomy. "And I thought to myself, 'They're sending me to the moon!'" Century. In the foreground the grey repellent the moon with his verkraterten surface, behind the blue Planet, in pitch black All inviting, but also touching blue and white shimmers.

"I took them to my area of the photo lab where we had a special processor that I had built for Apollo space film", Underwood told the Independent in 2009.

"It was hard to distinguish. but once they splashed down we could see two or three massive helicopters heading toward the splashdown point".

Anders knew he got it ("Aw, that's a handsome shot!") and said he took it at 1/250th of a second at f/11.

"Oh, man, that's great", said Jim Lovell, the command module pilot and navigator.

We had had no discussion on the ground, no briefing, no instructions on what to do.

His Earthrise photo is a pillar of today's environmental movement.

Earth, this bright, attractive sphere, alone in the inky vastness of space, a soloist at the edge of the stage suspended in the spotlight. The Navy veteran and Cornersburg resident remembers the splashdown of the returning Apollo 8 capsule, however.

As the bleak moonscape swept past below them, they read from the Book of Genesis: "In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth. And darkness was upon the face of the deep..." He said that he has always been a supporter of unmanned missions mainly because they are cheaper.

Cowan asked Borman, "Did you know at the time what kind of impact it would have?"

"Thank you for saving 1968". We knew these names as well as any when I was growing up.

Susan Byrum Rountree, photographed in 1968, holds her first camera, a gift that came the day after the Apollo 8 crew broadcast from space.

"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", Borman said in the ending the transmission.

Story produced by Reid Orvedahl.

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