Apollo 8 launched on 21 December 1968. Captain James A. Lovell Jr., USN, was command module pilot. This was the first mission to take humans to the vicinity of the moon. The mission lasted 6 days and 3 hours and included 10 moon orbits. Recovery was by HS-4 helicopters from USS Yorktown (CVS-10).
For more information, visit NASA’s Apollo Missions webpage.