Apollo 8's 40th
This week is the anniversary of the Apollo 8, the first crewed mission to leave Earth orbit. Friday at Johnson Space Center, a panel of original engineers remembered the flight. Most of these gentleman are in their seventies or eighties. Chris Kraft is speaking seventh from the left.
1968 was a year of worldwide strife. NASA was still recovering from the Apollo 1 fire the previous year. Apollo 2-6 were unmwnned tests. After the singularly successful Apollo 7 flight, the decision was made to send Apollo 8 into lunar orbit. Even the men in this room thought that was crazy, but somehow they pulled it off. Earth rising over the Moon is one of history's great pictures.
The original NASA engineers were mostly kids straight out of college. Today the workforce is growing, with women allowed to play. The panel was introduced by Marianne Dyson, who was a shuttle flight controller. As I wander around JSC, I meet a growing number of us girls working in Space. They come form very diverse backgrounds--I met one woman who was a curcus acrobat and another who was a Houston Texans cheerleader. This time it will be women on the Moon too.