Trivia: Apollo 8

‘Tis the season for trivia! On this day, 52 years ago, Apollo 8 launched, carrying a crew of three to the Moon for the first time. Celebrate this historic mission with a pop quiz that is sure to test your Apollo knowledge!

What historic "first" did the Apollo 8 mission accomplish?

Apollo 8 crew
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Apollo 8 was a historic mission in many regards. It marked the first time images of the Earth had been taken from deep space by astronauts, the first time men traveled to the Moon, along with the first live television coverage of the lunar surface. Additionally, the mission marked the first crewed launch of the mighty Saturn V rocket.

Who made up the crew of Apollo 8?

Apollo 8 crew
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NASA astronauts Frank Borman (commander), James Lovell (command module pilot), and William Anders (lunar module pilot), made up the crew of Apollo 8.

What was missing from Apollo 8?

Apollo 8 recovery
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Despite having a lunar module pilot, Apollo 8 did not carry a lunar module. This was attributed to delays with the lunar module on the ground.

What day did the crew enter lunar orbit?

The Moon
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The crew entered lunar orbit on Christmas Eve. The occasion was marked by a live broadcast with the first television coverage of the lunar surface below.

Which Apollo 8 astronaut snapped this iconic image?

Earthrise Apollo 8
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NASA astronaut William Anders is credited with taking the historic "Earthrise" image from Apollo 8.

During their famous Christmas Eve broadcast, which selection did the crew of Apollo 8 read from?

Crowds welcome home the crew of Apollo 8
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During the live television broadcast, the crew of Apollo 8 took turns reading from the book of Genesis in a gesture of goodwill toward all the night before Christmas.

Which Apollo 8 crew member referred to the Earth as a "grand oasis" during a live broadcast in space?

View of the Earth from Apollo 8
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“The Earth from here is a grand oasis in the big vastness of space," stated Lovell during a live broadcast from the Apollo 8 command module.

The crew of Apollo 8 mentioned which Christmas character in their radio communication with Mission Control upon leaving lunar orbit?

Lovell onboard Apollo 8
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“Please be informed there is a Santa Claus.” This was the communication received by Mission Control as the crew of Apollo 8 radioed they were leaving lunar orbit.

What ship recovered the Apollo 8 command module?

Apollo 8 recovery
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On Dec. 27, 1968, Apollo 8 splashed down in the Pacific Ocean. Following splashdown, the command module and crew were recovered by the USS Yorktown.

Apollo 8
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Click here to watch and listen to Apollo 8’s Christmas Eve message, and to learn more about the mission!

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