NASA Apollo 8 Christmas Eve Earthrise

On this day in 1970, Apollo 13, the third lunar landing mission, is launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

On April 13th, Commander Jim Lovell was to become the fifth man to walk on the moon, but an exploding “Oxygen tank No. 2” had other plans. As a result, we have all heard him say, “Houston, we’ve had a problem here.” Mission control aborted the landing.

“In the beginning…”

Now, I invite you to hear Command Module Pilot Lovell and his fellow Apollo 8 astronauts read from Genesis on Christmas Eve in 1968, during a live broadcast from lunar orbit. Lovell’s is the second voice you’ll hear. Their message brings perspective to a turbulent year in American history:

Video courtesy of Video

NASA Apollo 8 Christmas Eve Earthrise


John Glenn Presidential Medal of Freedom

On this day in 1962, John Glenn is launched into space aboard the Friendship 7 spacecraft on the first orbital flight by an American astronaut.

On February 23 that same year, President John F. Kennedy visited him at Cape Canaveral. Glenn later addressed Congress and received a ticker-tape parade in New York City.

Later, On October 29, 1998, nearly four decades after his famous orbital flight, the 77-year-old Glenn became the oldest human ever to travel in space. In 1999, he retired from the U.S. Senate after four consecutive terms in office for the state of Ohio.

“Look out…”

During an interview in November of 1998 Glenn said:
“I pray every day and I think everybody should. I don’t think you can be up here and look out the window as I did the first day and look out at the Earth from this vantage point. We’re not so high compared to people who went to the moon and back. But to look out at this kind of creation out here and not believe in God is, to me, impossible. It just strengthens my faith.”

President Barack Obama presents former United States Marine Corps pilot, astronaut, and United States Senator John Glenn with a Medal of Freedom, Tuesday, May 29, 2012, during a ceremony at the White House in Washington. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)