THIS DAY IN HISTORY: Apollo 8 Returns to Earth 51 Years Ago, Capsule Splashes Down in the Pacific Ocean
By Space Coast Daily // December 27, 2019
December 27, 1968
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – “You’ve taken us, taken all of us all over the world, into a new era.”
On this day, December 27, 1968, the crew of Apollo 8 returned to Earth.
Blazing into the atmosphere at over 38 kilometers per hour, the capsule splashed down in the Pacific Ocean about 4.7 kilometers from the USS Yorktown at approximately 10:52 a.m. (Eastern Time).
Within the next hour, Frank Borman (at the microphone), Bill Anders (right of Borman), and Jim Lovell (far right) were aboard the aircraft carrier.
Upon their return, the crew was showered with accolades, including Time Magazine’s Person of the Year honor and an Emmy Award for their TV broadcast.
President Lyndon B. Johnson called the Apollo 8 astronauts to congratulate them on their accomplishments.
But he made sure to acknowledge the sprawling organization that helped get them there.
“Now we all know that you men were supported by an elaborate technical apparatus and by many brilliant and devoted men and women here on the ground, and we salute all of them as we salute you,” Johnson said.
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