Washington: Fifty years after the NASA’s Apollo 8 spacecraft carried three astronauts into orbit around the moon for the first time in 1968, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) has named two lunar craters -‘8 Homeward’ and ‘Anders’ Earthrise’, to honour the historic voyage.
The two iconic carters which was shot by Apollo 8 astronaut William Anders depicts the moment that our shiny blue Earth came back into view as the spacecraft emerged out of the dark from behind the grey and barren Moon.
Anders, mission commander Frank Borman and James Lovell blasted off atop a giant Saturn 5 rocket on December 21, 1968, and braked into orbit around the moon that Christmas Eve, the first humans to reach the moon.
However, after 10 orbits, the trio returned to Earth and landed in the Pacific Ocean. Later, Neil Armstrong, after six-and-a-half months, stepped onto the moon’s surface, taking “a giant leap for mankind.”
The Apollo 8 craters were named by the IAU’s Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature, the body responsible for naming planetary features across the solar system.