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Best Of Blue Dot: Apollo 8


Blue Dot continues its look back at the 50th anniversary of the Apollo program with a look at the very first mission to the Moon -- Apollo 8.

Considered by most space historians as the most dramatic and bold mission of the entire lunar program, astronauts Frank Borman, James Lovell, and William Anders became the first human beings to leave ride the powerful Saturn V rocket, leave Earth's gravitational well and see the backside of the Moon with their own eyes.

Liftoff on 12/21/68.

That the mission took place at the end of a disastrous year for the United States added to the drama. In 1968, the Viet Nam war took a turn for the worst, Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy were both assassinated and the Democratic National Convention in Chicago descended into chaos and violent protest.

But then at the end of the year, Apollo 8 circled the Moon at Christmas time, giving Americans something to at last cheer about.

Dave Schlom is the longtime host and creator of Blue Dot. From surfing to Voyager in interstellar space, rock guitar to orcas in our imperiled oceans, the topics on Blue Dot are as varied as the host’s interests and connections -- which are pretty limitless! An internationally respected space history journalist, Dave is also deeply fascinated by all aspects of the grand workings of nature’s awesome machinery on scales ranging from galactic to subatomic. And topics take in all aspects of the arts and sciences.
Matt Fidler is a producer and sound designer with over 15 years’ experience producing nationally distributed public radio programs. He has worked for shows such as Freakonomics Radio, Selected Shorts, Studio 360, The New Yorker Radio Hour and The Takeaway. In 2017, Matt launched the language podcast Very Bad Words, hitting the #28 spot in the iTunes podcast charts.