Medal, Robbins, Commemorative, Apollo 8

This sterling silver medallion minted by the Robbins Company of Attleboro, Massachusetts commemorates the Apollo 8 mission and has the mission patch on its front. Apollo 8 was launched on December 21, 1968, and returned after almost six days, during which the spacecraft orbited the Moon. It was the second human spaceflight in the Apollo program and the first human lunar orbit. Frank Borman, James Lovell, Jr., and William Anders were the astronauts.

Robbins medallions were only available for purchase through the NASA astronaut office. Like all Apollo 8 Robbins medallions, this medal, which belonged to NASA astronaut and National Air and Space Museum director Michael Collins, was carried on the Apollo 8 mission. Collins gave the medallion to the Museum for display in the "Apollo to the Moon" gallery when the National Mall Building opened in 1976. It became a permanent part of the National Collection in 1985.