BILLINGS – This weekend marked the 50th anniversary of the launching of Apollo 8, sending men to orbit the moon.
Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and William Anders lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center on December 21, 1968. The spacecraft orbited the moon 10 times.
All three men are alive today.
“It changed not only my life but the lives of my family,” Borman said. “All of a sudden from a test pilot and a fighter pilot, one of thousands. All of a sudden we were one of a few people that had been to the moon. So there was a dramatic change.”
During a live Christmas Eve broadcast from the spacecraft, the three astronauts read from the Bible’s Book of Genesis.
Borman gave the final words of the broadcast on Dec. 24, 1968.
“And from the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas, and God bless all of you – all of you on the good Earth,” Borman said.
Borman, 90, lives in Billings.