Newsweek, 30 December 1968

The crew of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s first manned lunar voyage was scheduled to venture beyond Earth orbit for the first time, cross the vast translunar gulf and circle the Moon ten times to conduct navigational and photographic exercises.

James Lovell and Frank Borman were members of NASA’s Astronauts Group 2, also known as the New Nine, selected on September 17, 1962. William Anders was a member of NASA’s Astronaut Group 3, a group of fourteen astronauts selected in October 1963.

The Apollo 8 crew stands beside the Apollo Mission Simulator at the Kennedy Space Center after suiting up for simulation training in the simulator in preparation for the scheduled Apollo 8 lunar orbit mission. Left to right, are James Lovell, Command Module Pilot; William Anders, Lunar Module Pilot; and Frank Borman, Commander.
[NASA caption]

“It was an exploration mission. We took the human intellect and the human vision, the human mind, 240,000 miles away from its home. That was the importance. Whether we found a rock there or not was of no importance.”

—Frank Borman (Chaikin, Voices, pg. 184)