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TABLE OF CONTENTS
First to spend Christmas in space: Apollo 8 astronauts Frank Borman, James Lovell, William Anders were there for Christmas 1968.
First Soviet Christmas in space: Cosmonauts Pyotr Klimuk and Valentin Lebedev were in space in December 1973, landing December 26. Using an ultraviolet camera to make 10,000 spectrograms of 3,000 stars, they did not report any unusual stars on Christmas Eve.
Most uplifting spaceflight: Astronauts Frank Borman, James Lovell, William Anders flew to the Moon in 1968. Celebrating the flight's 20th anniversary, Lovell and Borman recalled their flight gave the U.S. a boost at a trying time. "You have to remember the time span of when Apollo 8 went up, which was the end of 1968...not a very stellar year here in this country," Lovell explained. "Bobby Kennedy was assassinated, Martin Luther King...the Vietnam war was going on, the Democratic convention in Chicago...we had all sorts of riots...it was sort of a down year." The Moon flight was "an achievement everybody could look up to...you could go outside and see the Moon and know that the United States had finally put a spacecraft around the Moon. It couldn't have happened at a better time."
First organ grinder in space: French cosmonaut Jean-Loup Chretien in November 1988 played a portable organ as Vladimir Titov, Musa Manarov, Alexander Volkov, Sergei Krikalev and Dr. Valery Polyakov dined at the Mir space station.
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