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Apollo 8: Where No One Has Gone Before

5 Jan 2019, 16:20 UTC
Apollo 8: Where No One Has Gone Before
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In the opening narrative of the scifi TV classic, Star Trek, the mission statement of the USS Enterprise concluded with “to boldly go where no man has gone before” (or in the more politically correct version of today, “where no one has gone before”). Just as Star Trek was beginning the last season of its original network TV run in the fall of 1968 with fictional voyages in space, NASA was busy preparing a real space adventure which would boldly go where no one had gone before – the Moon. Called Apollo 8, it would be the most ambitious manned space mission flown to date and opened the way to the Apollo Moon landing missions to come.

The New Apollo Test Program
In the wake of the Apollo 1 accident on January 27, 1967 where astronauts Gus Grissom, Bob White and Roger Chaffee died in a cockpit fire during what should have been a routine countdown rehearsal (see “The Future That ever Came: The Unflown Mission of Apollo 1”), Apollo program managers were forced to reevaluate their plans as the cause of the Apollo 1 accident was investigated and corrective action taken. They eventually devised a series of ...

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