By the time the Sun rose a little after 7 o’clock in the morning on December 21, 1968, people were already gathered on beaches and stopped on backroads near NASA's Kennedy Space Centre. The crew of Apollo 8 was already strapped into their command module, and as sunlight spread over the scene the launch countdown moved steadily forward. The voice over the loudspeaker told the crowds that the guidance computer was making its final checks for the flight azimuth, then, at T-minus eight seconds announced that the ignition sequence had started. At 7:51 that morning, the Saturn V lumbered off the launch pad, gaining speed as it climbed higher. Fourteen seconds later, commander Frank Borman called “roll and pitch program.” Astute viewers would have seen the rocket rolling around its vertical axis and wondered why - the rocket looked symmetrical, so why did it have to roll before pitching over into orbit? Those observers would have asked themselves a very interesting question.