Most years, at least a little ‘something to go for it, but in 1968 was terrible from the start. In just 23 days, North Korea attacked the U.S.S. Pueblo, a sailor killed and captured the rest stops; the 30th day of commencement launched the celebration of the Vietnamese Tet, the Vietcong a massive military offensive, which has cost more than 35,000 lives on both sides; the 95th day of the Reverend Martin Luther King was assassinated; in 157 days, following the assassination of Senator Robert Kennedy; at 233. Day, it crashed Soviet tanks in Czechoslovakia; to 241. Day, the Democratic National Convention in increased violence in Chicago. The year was drenched loft, which was paid in blood. And then, the 359th day, there is no poetry. Three days before, the crew of Apollo 8, Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and Bill Anders was out of chaos at home and ventured to the moon, the first people to be climbed to reach via our next sky in close orbit. They came, as history would have it, on Christmas Eve. During the eighth of its 10 lanes showed them a video camera from one of its five windows and showed a global audience of 1 billion nearly a third of all viva-la-grained people, flickery but undeniably otherworldly view of the old Luna crawl surface through in their spaceship, As the picture played, Anders began to read: “in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth”, and then handed over to his comrades to read in a year of loss on verses of Genesis verses renewal alternately. Borman, now 90, he was the commander of the mission and it is often said that the call made to read the scriptures, but describes it as a joint decision. “I did not choose,” he said last October, when all three astronauts TIME met to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its mission to Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, which displays their ship. “We all agree that it was the right thing.” Half a century on, there are more lessons from the missions to learn business through engagement, a joint venture may be greater Redeem every individual, if not completely heal, a fragmented nation. As with so much of the early space program, a part of what drives the decision to fly Apollo 8 was geopolitical. The United States and the Soviet Union in a race to the moon was cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first man to be the summer of 1968 in 1961 in space, the word began to ping Web Intelligence that the Soviets wanted the Americans Skunk again. “[Our flight was] enters orbit test of the Lunar Module Earth,” says Lovell, even 90. “Instead, we heard that the Russians would put a man or men on the moon by the end of the 1968th year” So the decision it was taken in August that Apollo 8, the first should come take a team to the crew and the ground only 16 weeks to figure out how to do it. No one had any illusions about a plan how difficult it was. Only a year before, the spacecraft Apollo astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee were killed in a launchpad fire before he had even made his first flight. The Saturn V rocket that would require a lunar travel artillery pieces for such a large diameter, which when it explodes on the pad, it would produce a fireball 2500 °, 1400 ft. In only had two test flights of unmanned. The second, vibrates so bad that it shook to pieces. This test should have more news had not occurred April 4 the same day 95th of this bad year, such as the assassination of the King. “Only four or five years before Apollo 8, which was the first launch of the engine J test -2 [Oberstufen], “says Borman. “And here we drove a Saturn V to the moon. For me it is still a wonder that worked so well.” Then, too, there was a darker threat Apollo 8 against. If the astronauts did in lunar orbit, but failed their fire engine when it came time to leave, life would be impossible. They would circle the moon forever. “You are the moon for all ruined,” said one of the women Apollo 8 was warned Chris Kraft, NASA director of flight operations. But the team must go into orbit and return home, and has given the world another gift: the famous photo that became known as Earthrise, taken Anders captured as they were to the side of the moon in its third orbit. It illustrates how did other things, the fragility of our planet, and is widely used to help kick-start the environmental movement credited. Even five years later, Borman and Lovell, veterans of space were when they flew Apollo 8, Anders additional needle, 85 but now the team’s rookie then. “I’m still trying to figure out who these [image] has taken,” Borman says, with a wink. “Frank took, I think,” says Lovell. “Bill has received the image,” admits Borman. “He did not want me to take it,” Anders fake complaints, Borman indicates that the commander who oversaw the image acquisition program. When the crew on December 27 in the Pacific beat, it was clear that in the six days they were gone, a hinge in history had turned. The time was now considering its options for what was then known as Man of the Year; the smart bet is that the election would be Richard Nixon, who was elected as President of the month. But Nixon was refused. Presidential election is every four years; Apollo 8 was epochal. “It ‘was the joy, justification, satisfaction, enthusiasm,” one-time journalist at the office of Houston enrolled in a file that telex in New York, described the state of post-ditching mood. “It was not a night like this in the annals of space travel,” she wrote another. “In a few hours after landing, the sober and sober society of manned spacecraft center around came the seams apart.” So, in a sense, the country has. But unlike the first 361 days of the year when it would come in part, a national breakout act, the 362nd day of harrowing saw an exuberant burst. “Thanks, Apollo 8. it saved 1968” plain text were sent a telegram job no American name. This type of collective joy born collective strut may now seem to us. From the factory to the three men in the boat, to 400,000 persons in making estimates of possible lunar missions had a hand. Washington also has its share. The lunar program through four presidencies and eight Congress, and while it was arguments over planning and funding, there is bipartisan agreement that the Mission would be seen as final. from the space station to make a return to the moon, exploration of asteroids, Mars, back on the Moon: The most recent four Presidency, however, have seen over and over again to change the US space objectives. That does not impress the old pioneers. “NASA squirm, to arrive in the hope of a certain direction, but especially hoping to get some funds,” says Anders. “You’re wrong,” laughs Borman. “[Elon] Musk says we go to Mars in 2020. colonize.” The crew did not fire the room entrepreneurs; In fact, they see it as part of an aviation tradition. “They had this nutty guys like Howard Hughes, who invested their own money,” says Anders. “Some have lost a little ‘made. So you have to give Musk.” America was the road again to return to the moon, or found on public or private rockets. Nations do to regain their sense of mission. Astronauts who have never lost their way from long ago seem. “I said before he never publicly,” said Borman, with a slap on his companions knees as they sat together in Chicago, “but these two talented guys, I’m just proud that I was able, to fly with them. And ‘it has done a lot of work in four months, and we did a good job. ” And so the heroic role.