Most Americans are too young to remember a time when astronauts visited the Moon

This famous image of the Moon was shot on Christmas Eve 1968 from lunar orbit by Apollo 8 astronaut William A Anders in the Apollo 8 command module. He and his crewmates Frank Borman and James Lovell were the first humans to orbit the Moon or see the far side directly, though it had been photographed by a robot spacecraft a few years before.

The famous Apollo 8 image of the Earth rising over the Moon

For more on the photo, see this page and also this one from NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day in September.

For those of us old enough to have been around at the time, it’s a bit disconcerting to realize that it happened 47 years ago. More than half the people in the United States had not yet been born. As of 2014, the median age in the U.S. was 37.6 years. That is, half the population was older and half younger, so most Americans alive today were born in the latter part of the 1970s or later.

The last time humans visited the Moon was in December of 1972. I was present at that launch.

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