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Home | Tag Archives: apollo 8

Tag Archives: apollo 8

NM Museum of Space History – Houston, There is a Santa Claus: The Christmas Mission of Apollo 8

It was Christmas Eve 1968 when the astronauts aboard Apollo 8 showed the world images of the Earth and Moon never seen before.

On Friday December 7, learn the importance of that Christmas mission when Museum Education Director Chris Orwoll presents the free Launch Pad Lecture “Houston, There is a Santa Claus: The Christmas Mission of Apollo 8” at 9:00 a.m. on the first floor of the museum.

The Launch Pad Lecture is free to the public and is held at 9 a.m. on the Museum’s first floor on the first Friday of each month.

Coffee and donuts are compliments of the International Space Hall of Fame Foundation.

The Launch Pad Lectures are streamed live on Periscope and are available after the lecture on the museum’s YouTubeChannel.

The next Launch Pad Lecture will be on January 4, 2019, and the topic will be “Luna Incognita: The Moon Before Apollo” with Museum Outreach Coordinator Tony Gondola.

The New Mexico Museum of Space History, a Smithsonian Affiliate, is a division of the NM Department of Cultural Affairs. For more information, call 575-437-2840 or toll free 1-877-333-6589 or visit the website at website or  ‘like’ their Facebook page.

SpaceX to fly Two Private Citizens Around Moon in 2018

SpaceX, a private space transportation company started by Elon Musk in 2002, announced Monday their intent to send a manned mission to the moon in late 2018.

The mission would come some 50 years after the first manned flight around the moon – Apollo 8 – which spent Christmas orbiting the moon in 1968.

Via a news release, officials with SpaceX stated “We are excited to announce that SpaceX has been approached to fly two private citizens on a trip around the moon late next year. They have already paid a significant deposit to do a moon mission.”

“Like the Apollo astronauts before them, these individuals will travel into space carrying the hopes and dreams of all humankind, driven by the universal human spirit of exploration. We expect to conduct health and fitness tests, as well as begin initial training later this year. Other flight teams have also expressed strong interest and we expect more to follow,” officials added.

What follows comes from SpaceX’s official release about the manned mission to the moon:

Additional information will be released about the flight teams, contingent upon their approval and confirmation of the health and fitness test results.

Most importantly, we would like to thank NASA, without whom this would not be possible. NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, which provided most of the funding for Dragon 2 development, is a key enabler for this mission. In addition, this will make use of the Falcon Heavy rocket, which was developed with internal SpaceX funding.

Falcon Heavy is due to launch its first test flight this summer and, once successful, will be the most powerful vehicle to reach orbit after the Saturn V moon rocket. At 5 million pounds of liftoff thrust, Falcon Heavy is two-thirds the thrust of Saturn V and more than double the thrust of the next largest launch vehicle currently flying.

Later this year, as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, we will launch our Crew Dragon (Dragon Version 2) spacecraft to the International Space Station. This first demonstration mission will be in automatic mode, without people on board. A subsequent mission with crew is expected to fly in the second quarter of 2018.

SpaceX is currently contracted to perform an average of four Dragon 2 missions to the ISS per year, three carrying cargo and one carrying crew. By also flying privately crewed missions, which NASA has encouraged, long-term costs to the government decline and more flight reliability history is gained, benefiting both government and private missions.

Once operational Crew Dragon missions are underway for NASA, SpaceX will launch the private mission on a journey to circumnavigate the moon and return to Earth. Lift-off will be from Kennedy Space Center’s historic Pad 39A near Cape Canaveral – the same launch pad used by the Apollo program for its lunar missions. This presents an opportunity for humans to return to deep space for the first time in 45 years and they will travel faster and further into the Solar System than any before them.

Designed from the beginning to carry humans, the Dragon spacecraft already has a long flight heritage. These missions will build upon that heritage, extending it to deep space mission operations, an important milestone as we work towards our ultimate goal of transporting humans to Mars.

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