Apollo 8 Objectives
Spacecraft Primary Objectives
1. To demonstrate crew/space vehicle/mission support facilities performance during a manned Saturn V mission with the command and service module. Achieved.
2. To demonstrate the performance of nominal and selected backup lunar orbit rendezvous mission activities, including:
a. Saturn targeting for translunar injection. Achieved.
b. Long‑duration service propulsion burns and midcourse corrections. Achieved.
c. Pre-translunar injection procedures. Achieved.
d. Translunar injection. Achieved.
e. Command and service module orbital navigation. Achieved.
Primary Detailed Test Objectives
1. P1.31: To perform a guidance and navigation control system controlled entry from a lunar return. Achieved.
2. P1.33: To perform star‑lunar horizon sightings during the translunar and transearth phases. Achieved, although the field of view in the scanning telescope was obscured by what appeared to be particles whenever the telescope optics were repositioned.
3. P1.34: To perform star‑earth horizon sightings during translunar and transearth phases. Achieved, although the field of view in the scanning telescope was obscured by what appeared to be particles whenever the telescope optics were repositioned.
4. P6.11: To perform manual and automatic acquisition, tracking, and communication with the Manned Space Flight Network using the high‑gain command and service module S‑band antenna during a lunar mission. Achieved.
5. P7.31: To obtain data on the passive thermal control system during a lunar orbit mission. Achieved.
6. P7.32: To obtain data on the spacecraft dynamic response. Achieved.
7. P7.33: To demonstrate spacecraft lunar module adapter panel jettison in a zero‑g environment. Achieved.
8. P20.105: To perform lunar orbit insertion service propulsion system guidance and navigation control system controlled burns with a fully loaded command and service module. Achieved.
9. P20.106: To perform a transearth insertion guidance and navigation control system controlled service propulsion system burn. Achieved.
10. P20.107: To obtain data on the command module crew procedures and timeline for lunar orbit mission activities. Achieved.
11. P20.109: To demonstrate command service module passive thermal control modes and related communication procedures during a lunar orbit mission. Achieved.
12. P20.110: To demonstrate ground operational support for a command and service module lunar orbit mission. Achieved.
13. P20.111: To perform lunar landmark tracking in lunar orbit from the command and service module. (The intent of this objective was to establish that an onboard capability existed to compute relative position data for the lunar landing mission. This mode was to be used in conjunction with the Manned Space Flight Network state‑vector update). Partially achieved. All portions of the objective were satisfied except for the functional test, which required the use of onboard data to determine the error uncertainties in the landing site location. A procedural error caused the time intervals between the mark designations to be too short; thus, the data may have been correct but may not have been representative. The accuracy of the onboard capability was not determined because the data analysis was not complete at the time the mission report was published. Sufficient data were obtained to determine that no constraint existed for subsequent missions. A demonstration of this technique was planned for the next lunar mission.
14. P20.112: To prepare for translunar injection and monitor the guidance and navigation control system and launch vehicle tank pressure displays during the translunar injection burn. Achieved.
15. P20.114: To perform translunar and transearth midcourse corrections. Achieved, although the service propulsion system engine experienced a momentary drop in chamber pressure from 94 psi to 50 psi during the service propulsion system burn for midcourse correction, and the entry monitoring system velocity counter counted through zero at the termination of the transearth midcourse correction.
1. S1.27: To monitor the guidance and navigation control system and displays during launch. Achieved.
2. S1.30: To obtain inertial measurement unit performance data in the flight environment. Achieved.
3. S1.32: To perform star‑earth landmark sighting navigation during translunar and transearth phases. Partially achieved. The three sets of sightings required at less than 50,000 n. mi. altitude were not obtained. The accuracy of other navigation modes was sufficient to preclude the necessity of using star‑earth landmarks for midcourse navigation. No constraint on subsequent missions resulted from this problem.
4. S1.35: To perform an inertial measurement unit alignment and a star pattern visibility check in daylight. Achieved.
5. S3.21: To perform service propulsion system lunar orbit injection and transearth injection burns and monitor the primary and auxiliary gauging systems. Achieved.
6. S4.5: To obtain data on the block II environmental control system performance during manned lunar return entry conditions. Achieved, although the #2 cabin fan was noisy.
7. S6.10: To communicate with the Manned Space Flight Network using the command and service module S‑band omni antennas at lunar distance. Achieved.
8. S7.30: To demonstrate the performance of the block II thermal protection system during a manned lunar return entry. Achieved.
9. S20.104: To perform a command and service module/S‑IVB separation and a command and service module transposition on a lunar mission timeline. Achieved.
10. S20.108: To obtain data on command and service module consumables for a command and service module lunar orbit mission. Achieved.
11. S20.115: To obtain photographs during the transearth, translunar and lunar orbit phases for operational and scientific purposes. Achieved, although the hatch and side windows were obscured by fog or frost throughout the mission.
12. S20.116: To obtain data to determine the effect of the tower jettison motor, S‑II retro and service module reaction control system exhausts and other sources of contamination on the command module windows. Achieved. The hatch and side windows were obscured by fog or frost throughout the mission.
Functional Tests Added To Primary Detailed Test Objectives During The Mission
1. P1.34: Star/earth horizon photography through the sextant. Achieved.
2. P1.34: Midcourse navigation with helmets on. Achieved.
3. P1.34: Navigation with long eyepiece. Achieved.
4. P6.11: High‑gain antenna, automatic reacquisition. Achieved.
5. P20.109: Passive thermal control, roll rate of 0.3° per second. Achieved.
Launch Vehicle Primary Detailed Test Objectives
1. To verify that modifications incorporated in the S‑IC stage since the Apollo 6 flight suppress low frequency longitudinal oscillations (POGO). Achieved.
2. To confirm the launch vehicle longitudinal oscillation environment during the S‑IC stage burn. Achieved.
3. To verify the modifications made to the J‑2 engine since the Apollo 6 flight. Achieved.
4. To confirm the J‑2 engine environment in the S‑II and S‑IVB stages. Achieved.
5. To demonstrate the capability of the S‑IVB to restart in Earth orbit. Achieved.
6. To demonstrate the operation of the S‑IVB helium heater repressurization system. Achieved.
7. To demonstrate the capability to safe the S‑IVB stage in orbit. Achieved.
8. To verify the capability to inject the S‑IVB/instrument unit/lunar module test article "B" into a lunar "slingshot" trajectory. Achieved.
9. To verify the capability of the launch vehicle to perform a free‑return translunar injection. Achieved.
Launch Vehicle Secondary Detailed Test Objective
To verify the onboard command and communications system and ground system
interface and the operation of the command and communications system in the deep
space environment. Achieved.