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Former Apollo 8 astronaut marks anniversary of 1968 Christmas Eve broadcast to Earth

Apollo 8- Anniversary.jpg

In this Dec. 24, 1968 photo, the Earth shines over the horizon of the Moon in as seen by the astronauts on Apollo 8. Apollo 8 was launched from Cape Canaveral on Dec. 21, 1968.AP Photo

An astronaut who was aboard the first manned spacecraft to orbit the moon is marking the mission's 45th anniversary in front of a piece of the actual spacecraft.

Retired Captain James Lovell Jr. re-enacted the Apollo 8's live Christmas Eve broadcast from 1968. During that broadcast, astronauts read verses of Genesis from the Bible.

On Monday, Lovell and several high school students took turns reading in front of an Apollo 8 module that's housed at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry.

Lovell says they chose Genesis because it's central to three major world religions: Christianity, Judaism and Islam.

According to NASA, millions tuned in during the original broadcast.

Lovell was a command module pilot on Apollo 8 and went on to be commander of Apollo 13.