It was 40 years ago today that the famous Earthrise photo was taken aboard the Apollo 8 space shuttle. Apollo 8 was the first manned voyage to achieve a velocity sufficient to allow escape from the gravitational field of planet Earth.
1968 was a year of upheaval, riots, and assassinations, but the orbiting of the moon gave humanity hope for their planet; it was humanity at their best after a year of seeing us at our worst.
As the shuttle orbited the moon, the crew spoke to 2 billion people on Earth, describing the landscape then reciting the creation story from Genesis. Photo after the jump. . .
The mission spawned the environmental movement with the first Earth Day being celebrated in 1970. Many believe the Apollo 8 mission to be the most historic of all of the Apollo missions.