Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | December 26, 2018

Christmas in Space

(4 Minute Read. With videos.)

Apollo 8 Crew
Frank Borman, Bill Anders, Jim Lovell

Fifty years ago on Christmas Eve 1968, the Apollo 8 astronauts Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and Bill Anders reached the moon after a three-day, 240,000-mile trip from earth. This was the first time postdiluvian man orbited the moon.

Anders was designated the Lunar Module pilot, even though there was no Lunar Module on Apollo 8. Lovell was the Command Module pilot, and Borman was the Mission Commander. All three are still alive at ages 85, 90, and 90 respectively.

The bravery and courage of the Apollo 8 astronauts is often overlooked. Apollo 8 was the first mission to test the massive 365-foot tall Saturn V rocket, the most powerful rocket ever built. As the time approached for that first moon shot, Frank Borman’s wife Susan asked about the chances the crew would return safely. A NASA director replied, “50-50.”

Of the initial stage of the flight, Anders said,
“The first seconds of flight were a total surprise to everybody because the Saturn V, which is a big, tall rocket, kind of skinny, and we were like a bug on the end of a whip. It gets very massive near the bottom, with the center of gravity near the bottom, so if you rotate it, what little bit of wiggle at the bottom translates to a big wiggle up at the top. Those giant F-1 engines, each producing a million and a half pounds of thrust, were trying to keep the rocket going straight. So it was being thrashed at the bottom and we were getting really thrashed at the top. I mean, violent sideways movement and massive noise that nowhere near had been simulated properly in our simulations. For the first ten (it seemed like 40) seconds we could not communicate with each other. Had there been a need to abort detected on my instruments, I could not have relayed that to Borman.”

Photo by Apollo 8 astronaut Bill Anders.
Taken from lunar orbit on Dec 24, 1968.
Shows Earth rising above lunar horizon.

On Christmas Eve while orbiting the moon the astronauts made a live television broadcast at NASA’s direction. They showed pictures of the Earth and Moon as seen from Apollo 8. It was the first time since Noah’s Flood that the Blue Marble (Earth) had been seen as a globe. At the time it was the most watched television broadcast ever, estimated at a billion people. This included many people in Communist lands where Christmas was illegal.

NASA had instructed the Apollo 8 crew to “say something appropriate” for the broadcast. Thus the astronauts concluded their broadcast and Christmas celebration with a special reading. What did these cream-of-the-crop men choose to read to the world while orbiting the moon to follow NASA’s “say something appropriate” instructions?

The heroes of Apollo 8 read the record of the creation of the heavens and earth from Genesis 1:1-10 using the King James Version.

Here’s a 2-minute video/audio recording of the astronauts reading Genesis 1:1-10 to the world from lunar orbit.

Major General William Anders began the reading:
“We are now approaching lunar sunrise, and for all the people back on Earth, the crew of Apollo 8 has a message that we would like to send to you.”
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, ‘Let there be light.’ And there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good. And God divided the light from the darkness.

Captain James Lovell continued:
And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. And God said, ‘Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.’ And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament. And it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

Colonel Frank Borman concluded:
And God said, ‘Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear.’ And it was so. And God called the dry land Earth. And the gathering together of the waters called He Seas. And God saw that it was good.
“And from the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas – and God bless all of you, all of you on the good Earth.”

Anders, Lovell, and Borman were highly intelligent, college-educated, extremely accomplished men. They were American astronauts, the elite of the elite. In the Christmas Eve broadcast from the moon 50 years ago, these men clearly, boldly, and unashamedly proclaimed to the entire world the divine creation of the heavens, the earth, the sea, and all that is in them.

In 1969, the U.S. Postal Service issued a six-cent stamp to commemorate the Apollo 8 mission to the moon. The stamp featured the Earthrise photo and the words, “In the beginning God…” It honored the three astronauts who led the way to the moon and who proclaimed the Great Creator to the entire watching Earth.

A commemorative event called “The Spirit of Apollo” was held at the Washington National Cathedral on December 11, 2018. Jim Lovell joined Ellen Stofan, Director of the National Air and Space Museum, and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine to commemorate the Apollo 8 mission.

Stofan said,
“Apollo 8 was full of surprises. We knew we were going to the moon. But hearing the story of creation beaming down to us on Christmas Eve, even the steely-eyed flight directors in Mission Control wept.”

Bridenstine said,
“Their broadcast reached not just almost all of America, but tens of millions of people behind the Iron Curtain where Christmas was still illegal — and they reached them with a Christmas message.”

Meaning of Christmas

Here’s a 2-minute YouTube Christmas video from Living Waters on the meaning and reason for Christmas:

At Christmas we especially honor, praise, and worship the One who made the Earth, Sun, Moon, and stars, the One who became a man to save people from their sin and rescue them from eternal death.

Christmas Blessings to all the readers of the Bible-Science Guy Blog!

Questions to Ponder

1. Jesus is the reason for the season. How do you plan to honor Him?
2. Can you think of someone who needs to understand the reason for the season? Do you have a plan to explain it?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

For Christ and His Kingdom.

Read the sequel:
Little Idea, Epic Result

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday December 26, 2018 A.D.

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. (Romans 5:8-9)


  1. Thanks for the memories and reminder of Apollo 8. But as a thought to ponder, in a different way we are the reason for the season because the only reason Jesus came was to wash away our sins with His shed blood. Yes we celebrate His birth on 12/25, but there would be no season if He hadn’t come to be the one and only perfect sacrifice to pay the price for our sins.


    • Yes, you are right — very good point. Thanks for reading and commenting.


  2. I’m curious about a comment you made about the “first time postdeluvian man” orbited the moon. And also the first time the blue marble had been seen as a globe since the flood. What are you infering here, then, about pre-deluvian man?
    I appreciate your posts – thank you for supporting the Bible so well.


    • We know very little about the antediluvian world except for what Genesis reports. According to Genesis, antediluvian man was extremely intelligent. Adam named hundreds of animals in only hours. Men quickly built civilizations, huge ships, and skyscrapers (Tower of Babel shortly after the Flood). They were skilled in music and metallurgy. Men lived for 900+ years. Imagine how advanced your learning and technology would be after 900 years! Look at the advances made in the last 900 years when men only live under 100 years. Thus I cannot say that the lunar orbit of 1968 was the first ever, because I don’t know what men before Noah’s Flood accomplished. The popular view of ancient man as “primitive” is simply not Biblical. Maybe men before Noah went to the moon and maybe they didn’t. We simply do not know.


  3. WOW a total fresh approach, who would have thought that a Scientist would be so open to God.


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