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This iconic view of the rising Earth greeted the Apollo 8 astronauts as they came from behind the moon after entering lunar orbit. The unnamed surface features in the foreground are near the eastern limb of the moon as viewed from Earth. Our planet is some 240,000 miles away in this photograph.
Astronauts Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and William Anders had become the first humans to leave Earth orbit, entering lunar orbit on Christmas Eve 1968. In a historic live broadcast that night, the crew took turns reading from the Book of Genesis, closing with a holiday wish from Commander Borman: "We close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas, and God bless all of you -- all of you on the good Earth."