Celebrating From the Earth to The Moon

In celebration of NASA’s “From the Earth to the Moon” accomplishment 40 years ago, I would like to take a moment to reflect on this tremendous accomplishment of not only all of humanity, but of this amazing organization called “NASA.”

Help Celebrate From the Earth to the Moon

On Sunday, December 28, 2008, NASA celebrated its 40th anniversary of the Apollo 8 space mission that landed three brave men on the moon on December 21, 1968. Those three men were James Lovell, Frank Borman, and William Anders. Yes, the accomplishment the following year, in 1969, of the first man to walk on the moon was certainly significant, but when you consider the engineering and scientific accomplishment that this first NASA feat signified in 1968, it was nothing short of remarkable.

A Short History From the Earth to the Moon

In 1968, the U.S. was in the middle of a race with the Russians to make it to the moon. Apollo 8 was a mission to accomplish what had never been accomplished before. That is, to fly humans from the earth to the moon, orbit the moon, and then safely return home. Up until 1968, no single human had ever left the comfort of Earth's orbit. These three men - Anders, Lovell, and Borman - would be boldly going where no man had ever gone before.

This accomplishment deserves recognition because it reminds us that visionary thinking combined with critical thinking, engineering skills, and common sense can accomplish anything - even the unthinkable. Real science deserves recognition and commendation.

There are a few other fascinating facts about the successful Apollo 8 mission that took place 40 years ago.

Jules Verne's Amazing Prediction

In one of the most visionary science fiction novels of the nineteenth century, Jules Verne's From Earth to the Moon, which he wrote in 1865, eerily predicted the very real events that would take place 103 years later. What did he get right?

  • That the launch would take off from Florida
  • There would be a three man crew
  • Approximately the same dimensions as the actual Apollo Command Module
  • The launch velocity to escape earth's gravity.
Jules Verne is also famous for his other novels:

Tom Hanks and HBO Bring Us The Mini Series

Who could forget the 1998 mini-series "From the Earth to the Moon" - the emotional and stunning drama covering the events leading up to the moon landing.

Part four was titled "1968" and provided a recap of the events during that year, including an escalating crisis in Vietnam, the assassinations of MLK and Robert Kennedy, the Tet Offensive... Yet there was this tremendous event - this overwhelming achievement and accomplishment that set all of those earthly problems into perspective. Three men traveled to the moon and made it back to Earth to tell the story. The world experienced its very first "Earthrise." NASA had proven it's worth, and the engineers and scientists who'd planned and developed the mission details and technology were the unsung heros of 1968. Regardless of the issues of the time, it remains a year Americans should continue to celebrate. It was the year that America made it to the moon.