Apollo 8, the second manned mission in the United States Apollo space program, was launched on December 21, 1968, and became the first manned spacecraft to leave Earth orbit, reach the Earth's Moon, orbit it and return safely to Earth. The three-astronaut crew—Commander Frank Borman, Command Module Pilot James Lovell, and Lunar Module Pilot William Anders—became the first men to travel beyond low Earth orbit, the first to see Earth as a whole planet, the first to directly see the far side of the Moon, and then the first to witness Earthrise. The 1968 mission, the third flight of the Saturn V rocket and that rocket's first manned launch, was also the first manned launch from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, located adjacent to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. MORE
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