Apollo 8 / 21st December 1968
43 years ago today, three men strapped themselves to the top of a Saturn V rocket – one of the most powerful vehicles ever constructed – and headed for the moon. They were the first astronauts to command the enormous rocket; and the first humans leave Earth’s orbit. They travelled over 238,000 miles, successfully completed 10 orbits of the moon, and returned safely to Earth. It was an astonishing accomplishment.
Today, as part of the Just Us 2011 advent calendar, my iOS wallpapers are available to download, celebrating the Apollo 8 mission.
It was a fun little project to work on – trying to summarise such an immense, almost inconceivable human achievement in a visual format that demands the utmost simplicity. I decided that focusing on scale would be the most effective way to represent the enormity of the mission. The Earth (iPad) and Moon (iPhone) are sized in proportion to one another. And if you place your iOS devices 2.82m apart, you’ll get an accurate sense of the distances involved.
Yeah, it’s crazy. Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, Bill Anders — you’re awesome.