Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Apollo 8

This is the 40th anniversary of the the Apollo 8 mission. I worked on that mission and we have a large, framed copy of the Earthrise photo on the wall of our living room - mirror image, but that's another story.

In addition to the thrilling and historic nature of the flight, I remember a succession of 24-hour days as we raced to do all the preparatory work for a trajectory that had been mandated in the White House because it was feared the Russians were about to launch a moon mission of their own.

I also remember the feeling of betrayal when the astronauts read from the Bible as they orbited the moon. Christmas and the Bible -- a soaring achievement of human beings and their technology had been perverted and corrupted into a glorification of superstition and darkness. Typing this has made me remember just how strongly I felt that way at the time.

Still, I can stare at that big, framed picture and be thrilled again, even if it is mirror image. (Wait a minute! That's like a metaphor, or something!)

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