chapter  4
22 Pages

Station Three: Giving the Opportunity for Compensation

W hen Apollo 8 took off for its lunar orbital flight in 1968, the United States had become an old hand at orbital flights around the earth. But this mission was something special. This mission was the first time that humans would venture away from earth on a new rocket that would take them some 238,000 miles away. New techniques and equipment meant new risks and potential tragedies. After lift-off, there was a point where the crew fired a rocket that propelled them toward the moon. After the rocket was fired, they were on their way-all the way to the moon. The problem was that after the point when the commitment was made to go for the moon, there was no turning back. The crew would have to travel all the way to the moon before they could turn around and traverse back to earth.