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Merry Christmas, Apollo – 4 decades later

December 24th, 2008 · 3 Comments · Random Stuff

earthrise 196840 years ago, on Christmas eve, 1968, this famous photo “earthrise” was taken, when mankind saw our tiny blue and white planet from deep space for the first time. No matter how many times I see this photo, every time it gives me chills. Even more so, the story of Apollo 8, inspires and awes me. It, and the whole story of all the Apollo missions, is best recounted in the amazing movie, In the Shadow of the Moon (click through on this link and you can watch the preview, and you can rent the movie from Netflix). On December 21, 1968, Apollo 8 blasted off. The mission was originally only supposed to go up into earth orbit, and then come back. They weren’t ready to go to the moon yet. But there were rumors that the Soviets might be planning a moon mission, so the word was given, and Apollo 8 was to go to the moon. The odds of success, by some accounts, were 50-50. They went. Three days later, Apollo 8 arrived at the moon and went around the backside of it. It was the first time any human had ever seen the “dark side of the moon”. The lunar lander wasn’t ready yet, so the Apollo 8 astronauts couldn’t land on the moon (that would be 7 months later). But as they orbited the moon for the first time and came around and saw the earth, the three astronauts and the world at large looked back at our planet in awe… The truth is, many people have described the event much better than I, so I won’t try any more. All I will say is that the the Apollo astronauts had incredible courage… watch the movie.

On a lighter note, I love Christmas, and everything about it (well, expect maybe shopping for a Christmas gift). I love the smell of the Christmas tree, all the Christmas lights around the neighborhood, how excited our kids are about Santa coming, drinking eggnog, listening to (and singing) Christmas songs, watching A Charlie Brown Christmas for the 100th time, the list goes on and on… So to all my readers, I wish you a very Merry Christmas.

If you have some spare time, check out these other bloggers’ Christmas posts:

While Mitch at I’m Just Sharing didn’t write his post Number 301, A Year To Remember about Christmas, he included a short video clip of the dance scene from my favorite Christmas movie, A Charlie Brown Christmas, at the end of his post (Congrats to Mitch on writing 300 posts in his first year with his blog I’m Just Sharing – Mitch is prolific!).

Kathy, aka the Countess of Comments, at the hilarious blog the Junk Drawer, sees Santa and his reindeer in bacon.

JD, at the equally hilarious (who am I to chose which blog is funnier?) blog I Do Things, doesn’t like fruitcake (or liver) but has a great list of weird but tasty food combinations.

So enjoy family and friends this Christmas, raise a glass of eggnog to the Apollo astronauts, and kiss the person next to you (there’s mistletoe hanging around here somewhere).

And with that, and a wink of my eye 😉 , I hereby declare: Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

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3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Will // Dec 25, 2008 at 1:47 am

    Great post Steve! I feel as you do about that photo and the story of Apollo 8. Interesting that we both went for the “chills” with our Christmas posts this year. The song I have on my post has is particularly poignant this year, I think. And hopefully will be a prophecy fulfilled by this time next year.

    Congratulations again on the success of your new blog and a very Happy Christmas to you and yours!

  • 2 Rudy // Dec 25, 2008 at 5:26 am

    Great restrospect. Reminds me to watch my From the Earth to the Moon DVDs.

    I should rent In The Shadow of the Moon DVD. It looks interesting!

  • 3 The Trade Show Guru // Dec 26, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    @Will, Merry Christmas. Great Christmas post and message on your site as well. I agree.
    @Rudy, I’ve got to add that series to my Netflix list. I see it was done by Tom Hanks in 1998. I’m not sure if that was before or after he made Apollo 13, which is also one of my favorite movies.
    ~ Steve

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