For the crew of Apollo 8, part of the ambitious plan was to become the first ever humans to orbit the moon. To do this, and return safely, they were given just a 50% chance of success.
To make their pioneering orbit, the spacecraft would have to travel to the dark side of the moon, a secret hemisphere that had never been seen by human eyes. During this time, all communication with ground control would be lost. The crew knew they would be absolutely alone with no radio contact.
“We’ll see you on the other side.” These special words, now engraved on the caseback of OMEGA’s Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8, were spoken on board the mission in 1968, at one of the most critical moments in space exploration history.
“We’ll see you on the other side.”
With just seconds before transmission fell silent, Command Module Pilot Jim Lovell gave his final words to Earth: “We’ll see you on the other side.” For the next 35 minutes and 52 seconds, nobody on the ground heard anything. It was a nervous wait, but finally, the voices of Apollo 8 reappeared on the radio, and the first voyage to the dark side of the moon was complete.
The spacecraft made 10 successful orbits over 20 hours, during which time the crew witnessed the moon’s mysterious distant surface, a rugged terrain covered in deeps craters and impacts.
Apollo 8 was praised as an incredible success. The crew were named Time Magazine’s “Men of the Year”, and even today, 50 years later, OMEGA is proud to honour their bravery and, of course, their words.