The Apollo 8 (Spacecraft 103/Saturn 503) space vehicle was launched from Pad A, Launch Complex 39, Kennedy Space Center (KSC), at 7:51 a.m. (EST), Dec. 21, 1968. Trailing an immense column of flame, the mighty Apollo 8 Saturn V speeded out of the atmosphere, next stop the Moon. It was the first manned flight of the Saturn V and first manned flight to the Moon.

“The Saturn V was an enormous machine. And the size of the engines?! [...] I think I felt that more going up the morning of the launch. Because it was so quiet, nobody around it. [...] I don’t want to say awe, a combination of admiration_yeah, maybe awe. Wonderment.”

—Frank Borman (Chaikin, Voices, pg. 20)