Apollo 8 Crew: Jim Lovell, William Anders, and Frank Borman.
The main purpose of the mission was to get humans closer to the moon and to advance toward the goal of landing men on the moon.
Advancements and Technologies needed to conduct the mission: NASA originally hadn’t planned to travel to the Moon in 1968. The lunar hardware was still unproven and Apollo 8 was meant to be test equipment for low Earth orbit. But NASA progressed quickly and prepared Apollo 8 for travel to the Moon. Service Module Propulsion System (SPS), which is a liquid fuel rocket engine used on the Apollo 8 spacecraft. SPS was used to steer the spacecraft, place it in lunar orbit, and also bring the astronauts home. The greatest changes made to the spacecraft were the replacement of the forward pressure and ablative hatches with the combined forward hatch. Since astronauts were not landing on the moon Apollo 8 did not require a lunar module.
Advancements and technologies that came from the mission: The greatest advancements that came from Apollo 8 were the replacement of the forward pressure and ablative hatches with the combined forward hatch -- a requirement for intra-vehicle transfer to the lunar module
Changing our understanding on space exploration and the nature world: The Apollo 8 astronauts captured an iconic photo that revealed how small of a speck our Earth was to the vast space around us. The Apollo 8 mission also made it possible for NASA to successfully send men to the moon.
The Year of the Mission: 1968 was a year of unforgettable accomplishments and tragedies. In September of 1968 Boeing introduces the first 747 "Jumbo Jet", which made its first flight on February 9, 1969. During the Summer Olympic Games of that year two athletes, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, silently protested against racial discrimination in the United States by raising a fist during the Star Spangled Banner. Also in 1968, an episode of Star Trek aired American television's first interracial kiss. But there were also some tragedies in 1968. In January North Korea captured the USS Pueblo, which worsened the already high Cold War tensions in the region, and North Vietnam launched the Tet Offensive against the United States and South Vietnam -- this attack made the decision for the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. To make matters worse, in April of ‘68 Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated and then two months later in June U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy was also assassinated. But to end the year Apollo 8 was the first manned spacecraft to successfully orbit the moon and come home.
Iconic photo that was captured during the Apollo 8 mission.