The First Christmas in Space: How Astronauts Aboard Apollo 8 Celebrated Among the Stars

Christmas is celebrated around the world — and sometimes out of it. 

The astronauts aboard Apollo 8 were the first to fete the holiday in space back in 1968, as they circled the moon. Apollo 8 launched on Dec. 21 of that year for a six-day mission. They orbited the moon, then returned safety to Earth. 

In the middle of the mission, they enjoyed a humble Christmas dinner of hot cocoa, sugar cookies, corn chowder, and chicken and gravy, as well as some orange juice.

"I hope you all had better Christmas dinners today than this," lunar module pilot William Anders told mission control at the time.

The astronauts also read a holiday message of goodwill from the Book of Genesis to Earth.

Check out the video above to learn more about the first Christmas in space!


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