December 21 marks the 40th anniversary of Apollo 8 and its successful mission to orbit the moon. This flight paved the way for the first human landing on the moon by the astronauts of Apollo 11, on July 21 1969.
During the Apollo 8 flight, crewmembers Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and Bill Anders became not only the first humans to orbit another celestial body, but also the first to witness the 'Earthrise' as the Earth came into view from behind the moon. This spectacular sight was caught on camera and has become one of the most iconic images of the 20th Century.
The flight successfully claimed 5 FAI World records:
|Sub-Class||Type of Record||Performance||Date||Claimant||Status||Id|
|K-2||Greatest mass lifted to altitude||127 980 kg||1968-12-27||Frank Borman (USA)||ratified - current record||2319|
|K-3||Duration of stay in orbit around a celestial body||20h 06mn 48s||1968-12-27||Frank Borman (USA)||ratified - superseded since approved||2315|
|K-3||Duration of a complete mission to a celestial body with return||147h 00mn 42s||1968-12-27||Frank Borman (USA)||ratified - superseded since approved||2316|
|K_Absolute||Altitude||377 668 km||1968-12-27||Frank Borman (USA)||ratified - superseded since approved||2317|
|K_Absolute||Greatest mass lifted to altitude||127 980 kg||1968-12-27||Frank Borman (USA)||ratified - current record||2318|