Christmas Eve, 1968: Apollo 8 mission

December 24, 2009

Earthrise from Apollo 8

Anyone who was alive then will remember Christmas Eve of 1968.  On that day, the Apollo 8 became the first manned mission to orbit the Moon.  The crew, Mission Commander Frank Borman, Command Module Pilot James Lovell, and Lunar Module Pilot William Anders, launched on December 21, 1968 and reached lunar orbit on Christmas Eve.  Over a period of 20 hours the spacecraft orbited the Moon ten times.  On its fourth pass across the front of the Moon, Anders took the famous Earthrise photo pictured, later selected by Life as one of the hundred photos that changed the world. Read the rest of this entry »


Visit to Planetarium

February 28, 2009

In previous years, i’ve often used my birthday as an excuse to take a group up Bothmaskop in the Jonkershoek mountain range in Stellenbosch, where we’ve then enjoyed tea and coffee and breakfast while overlooking the Boland, False Bay and Table Bay.  It’s been a great way to welcome new students and acquaint them with some of the splendours of Stellenbosch and meet and mix with other Maties.

This year, we set out sights a bit higher, showing that the sky is not the limit. Read the rest of this entry »