NPF: THE GOOD EARTH

Prior to the Moon landing itself (Apollo 11), the most watched event in the history of television was the Christmas Eve broadcast from Apollo 8 in 1968. That crew was the first to actually leave the gravitational pull of Earth and visit the Moon, orbiting it several times but obviously not landing.

The video shows a very low-resolution but clearly desolate image of the lunar surface out of a tiny window on the command module, which put the three astronauts – Lovell, Borman, and Anders – in a reflective state of mind. Lovell, later of Apollo 13 fame, said: "The vast loneliness is awe-inspiring and it makes you realize just what you have back there on Earth."

Borman: "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."

Couldn't have said it better, Frank.

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16 Responses to “NPF: THE GOOD EARTH”

  1. c u n d gulag Says:

    'Borman: "And from the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas, and God bless all of you

  2. c u n d gulag Says:

    Whaaaaaaaaaaaaa happen?

    Ok, let me try it again.

    'Borman: "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."

    Couldn't have said it better, Frank.'

    Nope, me neither…

    I wish everyone out there a Happy Holiday, and a happy and progressive New Year!

  3. Jimcat Says:

    Given that this happened just a few months after I was born, I'm filled with about equal parts warm-fuzzy and frustration that I can't go there myself by now.

  4. acer Says:

    Happy holidays, Ed. Here's hoping next year is less hectic for you, and us.

  5. keith Says:

    Thanks, Ed–happy holidays! I will say, though, that I prefer big bang cosmology over the astronauts' religiously based cosmology. The perspective of Lawrence Krauss is much more poetic, and also has the advantage of probably being true:
    http://vimeo.com/31056022

  6. Paul B Says:

    Thanks, Ed and Happy Saturnalia to you and everyone. Let's all try and forget for just a moment that we are very, very fucked and things can only get worse… But hey! where's the Rum, I've got some celebratn' to do.

  7. Amused Says:

    Happy Festivus to our host.

  8. Amused Says:

    … and everyone.

  9. lfv Says:

    What? There was no War on Christmas back then?

  10. J. Dryden Says:

    @ Amused: Judging by the perpetual Airing of Grievances, *every* day is Festivus here at G&T! (Festivus does not end until someone pins Ed, and thus far, no one has been able to do so.)

    "Merry Christmas" from me, 'cause that's the one I celebrate, and thus the only one I feel responsible for/entitled to reference. If you want to have a Happy Hannukah, a Swell Solstice, or a Rip-Roaring Nothing At All Because We're Alone In The Universe, I exhort you to do so, but the enjoyment thereof is entirely up to you. As a Christmas-observer, I recommend booze, and lots of it.

  11. Xynzee Says:

    Thanks Ed and everyone.

    It's been an educative year.

    For those less interested: Happy Kiss-a-moose!
    For those who are: Happy Christmas!

    }:o)
    X

  12. My Says:

    Hamerrappy Hanuchristkwanzaamaskah! Next year will only be worser; drink up and smoke'em (or it) if you got'em (or it)…

  13. Elle Says:

    Happy holidays, all y'all.

  14. eau Says:

    Appropriate seaonal wishes and greetings all round.
    Ed, thanks for another year of g&t.

  15. Crocodile Chuck Says:

    Ed

    This was the most moving experience of the entire space programme. Great memory; thanks for sharing.

  16. Peter Says:

    Engrossing article – cheers. You consistently publish a riveting blog post. Thanks once again – I will visit again.