Editor’s Note: This blog was originally posted in December 2008 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Apollo 8’s historic mission. On December 21, 1968, Apollo 8 was launched on one of the greatest journeys in the history of human exploration. Not only was the clock ticking, but also the CIA had informed the agency that it believed the Soviet Union was on the verge of launching cosmonauts on a moon mission. In August 1968 NASA's Apollo Spacecraft Program Office manager, George Low, proposed making Apollo 8 a mission to circumnavigate the moon some 234,000 miles away. Apollo 8 astronauts (left to right): Frank Borman, James A. Lovell Jr. and William A. Anders arrive on the carrier U.S.S.