One of the motivations for photographing the missions was to produce visible evidence of these successful ventures: enduring images for study and enjoyment. The astronauts and scientists involved with the Apollo missions must surely have known they were making history, but perhaps they may not
have anticipated how beautiful that history would be, and how cherished.
Apollos VII and IX orbited the Earth, whereas Apollos VIII and X orbited the Moon, returning photography of the lunar far side and a series of stunning Earth Rise pictures. This view of our planet from space inspires serenity – a new sense of perspective, of our place in a vast and mysterious cosmos.
On December 24, 1969, the world held its breath while Apollo VIII was in the shadow of the moon. While this was an American endeavour it was a global event, transmitted via radio and received by dozens of stations around the Earth. Every time Apollo VIII slipped behind the far side of the Moon, radio contact with Earth was lost. Millions of people on Earth listened to the crackling silence until 45 minutes later Mission Control in Houston reported: „We‘ve got it! Apollo 8 is in lunar orbit,“ and Astronaut Lovell responded: „Good to hear your voice.“