OSHKOSH, Wisc. – The year was 1968 and the United States was in the grips of the space race with the Soviet Union. When intelligence reports came in stating that the Russians were planning on sending a man to lunar orbit sometime around December of that year, Apollo 8’s mission changed from earth orbit to a lunar orbit.
“In less than a year from the restart of the Apollo program with Apollo 7, man was on the moon with Apollo 11.” stated EAA Director of Communication Dick Knapinski. “We were in the middle of the space race with the Soviets so an amazing piece of choreography took place in a very short period of time.”
Apollo 8 launched from Cape Kennedy Florida on December 21st, 1968. By the time the crew would splash down six days later in the Pacific, the mission objectives they had accomplished would prove critical to man walking on the moon only seven months later.
You can currently see items from Apollo 8 Mission Commander Frank Borman’s personal collection on display at the EAA Museum in Oshkosh. EAA’s AirVenture will host it’s own Apollo 11 50th Commemorative event on July 26th as part of this years convention. For more information: https://www.eaa.org/eaa-museum