Aboard the USS Yorktown at Patriots Point is a replica Apollo 8 capsule where visitors can experience the mission. Apollo 8 was launched on December 21, 1968. Apollo 8 was the first human mission, in which the spacecraft left the Earth’s orbit. It was the first manned mission to orbit the moon. There were three astronauts aboard Apollo 8: Commander Frank Borman, Command Module Pilot James Lovell, and Lunar Module Pilot William Anders.
They were the first humans to see Earth as a whole planet, first humans to see Earthrise, and the first to see the far side of the moon. Splash down refers to the water landing of a spacecraft into the ocean or body of water. The Apollo 8 capsule parachuted into the ocean on December 28, 1968 at 10:51:42 a.m. EST. Apollo 8 landed in the Pacific Ocean. The crew and spacecraft were picked up at sea, by the USS Yorktown.