Astronauts back in grasp of earth’s gravity

Apollo-8 astronauts Frank Borman, James Lovell and William Anders, on their return from a spectacular whirl round the moon, to-night [December 25] sped back into the grasp of earth’s gravity at 23-09 I.S.T., after successfully breaking free of lunar gravity. Their spaceship dashed unerringly “right down the corridor” towards a Friday morning (9-21 p.m. I.S.T.) landing in the Pacific Ocean. Apollo-8 zipped through the “equi-gravisphere”, the zone where the gravity pulls of earth and moon are equal. The craft was flying at nearly 4,800 Km. an hour when it passed through the neutral zone some 3,23,000 Km. from earth and 62,500 Km. from the moon. It had remained in the moon’s gravity field for a total of 44 hours 9 minutes.

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