ON THIS DAY IN UNITED STATES HISTORY
December 27, 1968
Apollo 8 Splashes Down in the Pacific Ocean
Ending the First Orbital Manned Mission
to the Moon
On this day in 1968, the Apollo 8 spacecraft splashed down in the Pacific Ocean completing the mission as the first manned spacecraft to orbit another celestial body.
The successful completion of the Apollo 8 mission brought the United States one step closer to the ultimate goal of the Apollo program which was to land a man on the moon and return him safely to earth. This goal was first established by John F. Kennedy in 1961.