It is December 21, 1968, 7:50 a.m. in the morning, Cape Kennedy, Florida. Apollo 8 – Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and Bill Anders – have their ties in their seats, about 110 meters on the top of Sunday V, the most powerful rocket ever built in the history .
As the final ones go before they go away, they have little to say or do. There are about four million liters of fuel about burning fire.
The event has been said by the BBC television reporter who saw the event, "sitting on the same as a big bomb".
And there are many reasons for worrying.
During the previous informal tests of Saturn V, a few months earlier, the trips were strong and the serious adverse effects were recorded shortly after launching They would have killed anyone who was aboard.
And although the rocket was changed from that, NASA has warned the Borman wife that he was The certificates are her husband Yes to survive the purpose Yes 50/50.
The work of the Saturn V rocket is not the same as the NASA-dependent ones disturbing: Apollo 8 is a mission in which many will happen for her & # 39; first time, a big jump in the position of one to the moon.
This is the first specialized vessel by going to # 39; leaving orbit the Earth, the first one to go; left her moon and her & her; The first one returned to the Amazing Land of 40,000km per hour.
The intention is to move measured by space space to strike the Soviet Union.
"A true, heavy decision," said Teasel Muir-Harmony, an Apollo guardian at the National Air Airport and Spatial Museum in Washington D.C.
"Everyone in the organization knew that it was an amazing goal of danger and many of the complaints in the United States were puts people 's lives at risk"
Indeed, the Apollo 8 mission He has never been so ambitious.
It was originally designed as the first test of the rectification module in the Earth's orbit, make that model late.
In addition, the CIA reported that there was information that suggested that the Soviets had a " trying to find out a first tag on her & # 39; gun around the moon.
"Everyone who forgets to be a tour of research or scientific discovery in the Apollo program, he was a war; in the Cold War. And we were warriors, "said Borman.
Despite its management, and just after four months of training, Borman, a military pilot pilot; disappeared, to ensure that he can not fulfill any doubt on the success of the mission.
"We wanted to change the resolution to put them on the moon before the end of the decade, President Kennedy had promised"says.
"In my opinion, the resolution was very important not only to the United States but for free people everywhere," said Borman.
On the way to the moon
With the engines running and running; Countdown down, Saturn V rises slowly over the start button and its # #; accelerate into the blue Florida spear.
"I was feeling as if we were at the top of a needle. The sound influenced the power of power – I felt that I was in a position; going beside the rocket, rather than controlling something, "and remembering Borman.
"It's very difficult to breathe, it's almost impossible to move and your eyes are resolved with your vision, it's a unusual idea," he remembers .
About eight minutes later they are in an orbit. Then, once the ground is converted once and a half, they start the engines at the third phase of the rocket and its; move away from the ground in the side of the moon.
After two days and traveling 402,000 square kilometers, at 8:55 GMT, at Christmas Eve, Borman will be able to travel. Performing the important work with the Apollo service module that placed the vessel in an orbit around a & # 39; moonlight.
"I think we turned the engine for about four minutes to get enough down to get into the white orbit, we did about ¾ of that process when who was a moon, looked down, "remembered Borman.
His team was the first people to see the dark side of her eyes straight with her eyes.
"I do not think anything I had prepared for me for the hilly surface, was greatly destroyed, with holes, raspberries, volcanic debris, and so it was really interesting First look at a different world", to put the room to him.
A new look on Earth
There is no idea to & # 39; moonlight was the only thing they did amazingly.
About 75 hours and 48 minutes after the start of his mission, Anders saw the blue marble of the Earth rising above moon lunar and his / her; look for a color-designed film to take the minute.
"The difference between the broken Moor and the beautiful blue Land was amazingly amazing, The Earth is the only thing in & # 39; all of the landscapes that had no color. You can see the white clouds, white brown of the countries – we are very lucky to stay on the page; this planet, "said Borman.
A mission that was proven as a dangerous test on the technological creativity of the human being and the confidence of their astronauts was a fascinating insight into the people who took part.
Image of the "Land off" it would not be published to return the Apollo 8 to the Earth, but before December 1968 there was another donation of the crew for his / her; planet.
"Before the flight, NASA's public relations officer told Borman that they expected that around a billion people, a quarter of the people of the world at the time, would special television That would be broadcast on Christmas Eve from the white orbit, "said Muir-Harmony.
More people would hear their voice than anyone else's voice in history, "and ask them to say something appropriate," remembering a National Museum keeper the River and Spain.
"That's one of the most important aspects of a free country. Can you imagine what the Soviets were there up there? We would have been talking about Lenin and Stalin"said Borman.
But it was not easy to find words that were "appropriate". "We tried three with our wives to think of something, we can not," he says.
Borman asked her to consult a friend, asking him to ask Joe Layton, a co-writer of a warrior.
"As I realized it, he sat down all night to remove hard papers when his wife, a member of the French attack, came and praised start at the beginning", says the spell.
With the television cameras recording, when the spacecraft was a coming into the moonlight at Christmas Eve, the team started reading Genesis's book. "First of all?" Began Anders.
Borman concluded the broadcast saying "good night, good luck, happy Christmas and God bless you allYes, to all of you on the good ground. "
"We were convinced that the most appropriate thing was to be done, since there was a big sense of my side, at least, to think that the Earth is more than all of us. " It is too prescriptive and too big for being a result of a kind of religious creation, "said Borman.
But the purpose was not yet completed. On Christmas Day, Borman started the engine again to leave the white orbit. "They were inserted in the Earth's orbit on the dark side of the Moon, if it failed, I would still be surrounded around a" "moonlight."
"It is clear, yes, that Santa Claus is in"Lovell currently requested at this time that they put forward communication with the ground. And Santa delivered her.
Covered by a special firefarm with a fire, the team did not present their gift with the control of the secret controller: a flower turkey for a dinner.
"Our chief deke, Deke Slayton, has also got aboard three brandy invitations but we do not give it. I did not want to be blamed if something was wrong, and we brought them back home. I do not know what happened to me. Maybe now it's worth a lot of money, "said Borman.
On 27 December, the team returned to Earth. The capsule fell as close to its target in the Pacific Ocean and, The boat built was forced to move away.
It was the perfect end that came to an end a wonderful journey, the positive confirmation that the move is worth the way to travel to its; Moonlight.
"Apollo 8 was not only a major achievement in science and engineering, expanded the boundaries of human knowledge and influenced the way we value Earth as Our place in the Earth, "said Muir-Harmony.
For Colonel Borman, who is still 90 years of age, is still a strong warrior of the Cold War, and he has a great success. the mission The United States adds a step closer to its moon.
"I'm honest with you, I do not think about the Apollo legacy 8. Indeed after the successful Apollo 11 (going on the moon), I had no interest in the program. I started to help fight in the Cold War battle and win, "he says.