Friday, December 21, 2007
On December 21st, in the year 1968, Apollo 8, the first manned mission to the moon, was launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The crew would go on to become the first humans to leave the Earth's gravity field. While in orbit around the moon, the crew made a Christmas Eve television broadcast in which they read from the book of Genesis and sacrificed a goat to thank God for their safe journey. On the return trip, and prior to reentering Earth's atmosphere, astronaut Jim Lovell released several doves. While most were burned up in the mesosphere, one returned to the shuttle bearing an olive branch.