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Apollo 8

Day 4: Lunar Orbit 2

Corrected Transcript and Commentary Copyright © 2003-2021 by W. David Woods and Frank O'Brien. All rights reserved.
Last updated 2021-02-27
Apollo 8 has just gone around the Moon's western limb and will be out of communication with Earth for about 45 minutes. For the period while they pass around the far side, a tape recorder is capturing data about the spacecraft's state of health and, on a spare track, picking up the crew's voices in the cabin. This data and audio will be dumped to Earth at high speed when they come around to the near side again.
070:56:40 Anders (onboard): Mag H - When you're through taking Mag H, I'll [garble].
070:57:00 Anders (onboard): Mag H was on the 16-millimeter cam...
070:57:02 Lovell (onboard): [Garble].
070:57:03 Anders (onboard): ...16-millimeter camera, run at one frame per second, at - Look at that f-stop.
070:57:13 Borman (onboard): 8.
070:57:14 Anders (onboard): On f/8 through the entire Rev.
070:57:26 Anders (onboard): We now have Mag - What was that again, J? - Mag J installed for the second pass.
070:57:50 Borman (onboard): Are you all set with the TV, Bill?
070:57:52 Anders (onboard): Oh, we've got a long time.
070:57:54 Lovell (onboard): The TV doesn't come until at 30 minutes [garble].
070:57:58 Anders (onboard): Next - next AOS?
070:58:01 Lovell (onboard): [Garble] the Flight Plan.
070:58:11 Borman (onboard): Next AOS is 30.
070:58:16 Anders (onboard): 71:39,
070:58:17 Borman (onboard): Yes.
070:58:18 Lovell (onboard): 71:30 would be [garble].
070:58:20 Borman (onboard): [Garble] half an hour.
070:58:23 Lovell (onboard): Is that right?
070:58:24 Anders (onboard): Yes.
070:58:25 Lovell (onboard): Well, I guess we don't do [garble].
070:58:27 Anders (onboard): No, we can't do them all at once.
070:58:29 Borman (onboard): All at once?
070:58:45 Lovell (onboard): [Garble] the Earth [garble].
070:58:46 Anders (onboard): No.
070:59:02 Lovell (onboard): Are you going to [garble]?
070:59:05 Anders (onboard): I think you better yaw first [garble].
070:59:09 Lovell (onboard): What was that time again? 71:30?
070:59:15 Anders (onboard): You don't have AOS until 71:39 [garble].
071:00:12 Lovell (onboard): Well, 12.2 is [garble] 128.
071:00:19 Lovell (onboard): [Garble] TV pass is [garble].
071:00:39 Anders (onboard): Well, I guess we could got it; you know this S-band is actually just pointing a little - a little more underneath than ...
071:00:55 Lovell (onboard): Okay, Bill, while we're going around here...
071:01:13 Borman (onboard): How's your time? Sunrise is 71:00
071:01:20 Lovell (onboard): Holy cow! We're not too far away from [garble].
071:01:27 Anders (onboard): [Garble] right? Ask Jim.
071:01:36 Lovell (onboard): Okay. Did you see my [garble]?
071:01:39 Borman (onboard): [Garble] camera [garble].
071:01:46 Anders (onboard): What does - what does it say there in the Flight Plan, Frank?
071:01:52 Lovell (onboard): Hey, Frank, think I should share your [garble] the next [garble] because you're going to maintain the position, aren't you?
071:01:58 Borman (onboard): [Garble].
This is Apollo Control, Houston. As Apollo 8 passed over the lunar hill, out of communication, we read an apolune of 168.2 nautical miles [311.5 km], a perilune of 60.3 nautical miles [111.7 km]. Velocity of the spacecraft at that time descending downward from its apogee was 5,224 feet per second [1,592 m/s]. Our current digital indications say that the present velocity is 5,297 feet per second [1,615 m/s]. So at 71 hours, 02 minutes, 35 seconds into this most historic flight; this is Apollo Control, Houston.
071:01:59 Lovell (onboard): I should get over there. - Could you fly it from over here?
071:02:01 Borman (onboard): Huh?
071:02:03 Lovell (onboard): Now you've got to maintain a position in the [garble].
071:02:06 Borman (onboard): Well, that's just to [garble] whenever we fly [garble] with the COAS [garble].
071:02:16 Borman (onboard): Trying to get up here.
071:02:18 Lovell (onboard): Well, look here. [Garble].
071:02:23 Borman (onboard): It doesn't say anything; about that.
071:02:34 Anders (onboard): One frame per second [garble] terminator.
071:02:37 Lovell (onboard): Let me see if I can get up here [garble]. Yes, I just [garble].
071:03:07 Lovell (onboard): What do you want me to do?
071:03:13 Anders (onboard): What do you want to do about this television?
071:03:15 Lovell (onboard): [Garble].
071:03:19 Anders (onboard): Well, you can go on and describe where we are.
071:03:20 Borman (onboard): Still got that [garble], Bill?
071:03:23 Anders (onboard): I don't see it.
071:03:24 Lovell (onboard): Bill, why don't you just worry about the television as far as [garble].
071:03:53 Anders (onboard): You see the terminator yet, Frank?
071:03:55 Borman (onboard): Yes.
071:03:58 Anders (onboard): Are you pitched down - to the horizon?
071:04:00 Borman (onboard): Yes, down.
071:04:02 Lovell (onboard): Okay, I've got the terminator.
071:04:06 Lovell (onboard): All right, the terminator is just coming over right now.
071:04:08 Borman (onboard): You want your camera going, Bill?
071:04:10 Anders (onboard): Start at - just start it a little past the, terminator.... Don't start a track until you get the terminator.
071:04:21 Lovell (onboard): Okay, let me [garble].
071:04:55 Lovell (onboard): Well, I thought we've better - Bill you've got - I guess you've got your instrument, right?
071:05:08 Lovell (onboard): What's the crater just before we get the terminator? The big one?
071:05:12 Anders (onboard): It's America.
071:05:14 Lovell (onboard): No, no, that's the real big one.
We believe the "real big one" they are calling America is now known as Korolev. This massive 437-km walled plain is really a small multiring basin, having the vestiges of an inner ring visible within the main crater rim.
Lunar Orbiter photograph I-038-M showing crater Korolev - Image from Lunar and Planetary Institute.
This Lunar Orbiter photograph, I-038-M, shows the full crater well, at a similar Sun angle. Sergei P. Korolev (1906-1966) was the mastermind behind the early Soviet space program, being largely responsible for both the first unmanned and manned spacecraft.
071:05:15 Anders/Lovell (onboard): It's...
071:05:16 Lovell (onboard): It's the one that's coming up right now.
071:05:18 Anders (onboard): Von Braun and America.
071:05:23 Lovell (onboard): This one right down here, Bill? Bill? Is that von Braun?
071:05:28 Anders (onboard): Yes [garble].
071:05:34 Lovell (onboard): I think this is Freeman coming up.
071:06:10 Borman (onboard): Have you got the terminator?
071:06:12 Lovell (onboard): Yes.
071:06:21 Lovell (onboard): It might be [garble]; no, I think it's Freeman.
071:06:44 Anders (onboard): Just run it whenever you are looking down there.
071:06:49 Lovell (onboard): [Garble] take a look at [garble] the Flight Plan.
071:06:53 Anders (onboard): Give me that Flight Plan there real quick, will you, Frank?
071:07:04 Anders (onboard): Okay, let's track along the ground and run the camera [garble] time.
071:07:20 Anders (onboard): Here - It'll - At the terminator, it will be - 2.8, and it'll stay that way for a good while.
Bill is referring to a photography exposure chart that shows the recommended camera f-stop as a function of orbital longitude. (need link to page in flight plan) The crew uses this chart to ensure that the film is correctly exposed for a given sun angle.
071:07:32 Lovell (onboard): [Garbled.]
071:07:49 Borman (onboard): [Garble], we're looking good.
071:08:14 Lovell (onboard): Okay, starting on the right now, [garble].
071:08:16 Anders (onboard): No, no, no, don't - don't write it down.
071:08:19 Lovell (onboard): Well, you're going to get...
071:08:20 Anders (onboard): No, it - it - Wait, wait'll it comes up...
071:08:22 Lovell (onboard): Well, why not? Why don't you get it tracking? That thing's just going into the terminator.
071:08:27 Anders (onboard): Well, I'd wait, or you're never going to make it through the pass. It's the other terminator that's more important. Just take a couple here, Frank.
071:08:32 Lovell (onboard): All right. We should be over America right now.
071:08:47 Anders (onboard): Now, we're passing over America.
071:08:50 Lovell (onboard): There she is.
071:08:51 Anders (onboard): And we're coming up on von Braun.
071:09:01 Lovell (onboard): Okay, we're to the north of our track...
071:09:03 Anders (onboard): Yes.
071:09:04 Lovell (onboard): ...aren't we? No, we're not! My gosh, we're just about on it!
071:09:12 Lovell (onboard): Now, can you turn up the lights a little bit because we need this thing because we're going to - turn the light [garble].
071:09:21 Lovell (onboard): We're coming [garble] right now [garble].
071:09:44 Borman (onboard): You want this thing going now, Bill?
071:09:45 Anders (onboard): Yes, good.
At about this time, magazine J loaded with 16-mm film is started in the Maurer camera. With a frame-rate of only one frame per second, and mounted in one of the forward-facing rendezvous windows, this camera will photograph a strip across almost half of their orbit.
00:33 Pass from Korolev crater on the far side to western Mare Fecunditatis. 02:41 Terminator at Mount Marilyn in western Mare Fecunditatis. 02:48 Views through the sextant of landmark tracking exercises. This video is presented at 24 frames per second, regardless of the original shooting speed.
H.264 MOV video file.
Journal contributors René and Jonathan Cantin have produced an excellent video file of this movie which includes audio where available and has many of the major landmarks labelled. There are two versions; high resolution (34.6 MB) and low resolution (17.7 MB).
071:09:52 Borman (onboard): 3.5 still [the required F-stop on the lens]?
071:10:01 Borman (onboard): Huh?
071:10:02 Anders (onboard): Yes.
071:10:14 Anders (onboard): I don't think the angle is the best, though.
071:10:15 Lovell (onboard): [Garbled.)
071:10:20 Lovell (onboard): Oh, you can see out of this one. Bill, this is good lighting for one of those.
071:10:35 Lovell (onboard): Take those pictures [garble.]
As they pass over the Moon's sunset terminator from darkness into light, Bill begins his stills photography using magazine G. Unfortunately, he has not realised that this magazine contains type 2485 film which is rated at a high sensitivity of 2000 ASA, about 6 stops higher than the 40 ASA he is likely assuming. The film was initially intended for taking images of astronomical phenomenon like the solar corona, which is to be imaged at about 85 hours GET. Bill will realise his mistake and inform the ground at 074:42:05. With prior knowledge of the problem, steps can be taken after the film is returned to Earth to compensate for the overexposure by altering the development process, eventually yielding good results.
071:10:48 Anders (onboard): Okay, we got the six pictures of the terminator, south.
Bill's six images of the terminator are frames AS08-18-2828 to 2833.
AS08-18-2828 - Far side terminator, north of crater Mechnikov Z. Approximate image centre at 7.9°S, 149.5°W - Image by NASA/Johnson Space Center.
AS08-18-2829 - Far side terminator at crater Mechnikov Z. Approximate image centre at 8.9°S, 149.0°W - Image by NASA/Johnson Space Center.
AS08-18-2830 - Far side terminator at crater Mechnikov. Approximate image centre at 10.2°S, 149.0°W - Image by NASA/Johnson Space Center.
AS08-18-2831 - Far side terminator south of crater Mechnikov. Approximate image centre at 11.4°S, 149.0°W - Image by NASA/Johnson Space Center.
AS08-18-2832 - Far side terminator south of crater Mechnikov. Approximate image centre at 14.0°S, 148.4°W - Image by NASA/Johnson Space Center.
AS08-18-2833 - Far side terminator towards crater Lodygin. Approximate image centre at 18°S, 146°W - Image by NASA/Johnson Space Center.
Terminator view looking south across crater Mechnikov.
Composite of AS08-18-2828 to 2833 - Terminator view looking south across crater Mechnikov.
The 60-km crater in the foreground, Mechnikov, is named after Élie Metchnikoff (1845-1916), a Russian Nobel prize-winning microbiologist.
071:11:08 Anders (onboard): That's the north, Jim. Isn't this America sitting right out here - this big one? Or did you...
071:11:11 Lovell (onboard): No, no, we're over - still over America right now. See look at this big picture. I've got the - I've got the photograph on...
071:11:18 Anders (onboard): Is this von Braun right here, this big...
071:11:19 Lovell (onboard): No, we're right in the middle of America, right now.
071:11:25 Lovell (onboard): You've got two other craters sticking up [garble].
071:11:27 Anders (onboard): Right in the middle of it? Are they those...
071:11:39 Borman (onboard): You still want it 3.5, Bill? I think I...
071:11:43 Anders (onboard): I want you to keep it 2.8 until we've gone 7 minutes. [Garbled.)
071:11:51 Lovell (onboard): Yes, I know. It doesn't work; it goes out.
071:12:13 Lovell (onboard): There is the big [garble] down below us.
071:12:17 Anders (onboard): Is that it?
071:12:19 Lovell (onboard): Yes. [Garble] down south right now.
071:12:32 Anders (onboard): Why, the rim of America is very hard to see, isn't it?
071:12:36 Borman (onboard): Yes.
071:12:38 Lovell (onboard): Yes.
071:12:39 Anders (onboard): Okay, you're right, here's von Braun. This must be von Braun, here.
071:12:45 Anders (onboard): Yes, okay.
071:12:46 Lovell (onboard): Boy, it sure feels like you're running [garble]. Very pretty.
071:12:51 Anders (onboard): Okay, getting target 10.
071:13:20 Anders (onboard): Target 10 is mag D, frame...
Bill is actually using magazine G. Mag D is not used until a long sequence is exposed on rev 4.
Target of Opportunity 10 is an area of the far side south of the crater Doppler.
AS08-18-2834 - Far side landscape south of the crater Doppler.
The landscape is heavily beat up with a mix of old and newer landforms.
071:13:37 Lovell (onboard): You should have a big crater on the side of you there.
071:13:57 Lovell (onboard): Okay.
071:14:09 Lovell (onboard): There it is. Now the target should be just straight ahead.
071:15:12 Anders (onboard): [Garble] target 12.
071:15:16 Lovell (onboard): I see it. Right there.
The on board voice recording ends at this point.
As best as we can tell, Bill is still using magazine G on one camera but begins using magazine E on another.
AS08-18-2835 - Southeasterly view across a landscape north of the crater Bok.
AS08-18-2836 - View over the 59-km crater De Vries, visible to the upper left.
Four frames are taken on magazine E towards target 12. Notes from the Mission Report describe target 12 as a "fresh crater with trails of birdfoot secondaries" which is the 49-km crater, Crookes.
AS08-13-2244 - Doppler, a 110-kilometre crater that sits directly abutting the southern rim of Korolev (America).
Earth-based studies of the near-side crater, Copernicus, had shown that the formation of every large crater generated huge numbers of secondary craters as the material thrown out by the event impacted the surface. These secondary craters often form distinctive patterns. The crater to the left of frame AS08-13-2244 is named after Christian Doppler (1803-1853), an Austrian physicist who described the change in frequency caused by an emitter's motion. The Doppler Effect is well known in physics and radio electronics, being one of the major techniques used to track the Apollo 8 spacecraft. The right of this photo shows many of the distinctive bird-foot patterns from secondary impacts.
The next three frames also look towards target 12 and all feature the crater Crookes.
AS08-13-2245 - Crater Crookes and the birdfoot secondary impact patterns (target 12).
AS08-13-2246 - Crater Crookes and the birdfoot secondary impact patterns (target 12).
AS08-13-2247 - Crater Crookes and the birdfoot secondary impact patterns (target 12).
Under high sunlight, Crookes displays an impressive ray system, one that has two major rays 120° apart that indicate the impactor came in from the east. The ray system also shows that the crater is relatively fresh, perhaps a few hundred million years old which is also borne out by the crater's sharp outline as shown in the photographs. The landscape just beyond Crookes has a series of elongate dimples running left to right remeniscent of a bird's footprints. Sir William Crookes (1832-1919) was British physicist and chemist who pioneered studies of cathode rays.
With magazine G, Bill takes a series of shots looking towards what is shown in the photo index as Target of Opportunity 20. T/O 20 is listed in the Mission Report as "15-km young craters on rim of Mendeleev", the latter being a large crater to the north of their current track.
AS08-18-2837 - Eastern rim of Aitken.
In this frame, we are looking south to a cluster of small craters and one larger one sited above a scarp. This scarp is the eastern rim of Aitken, a large (135-kilometre) flat-floored crater with a dark mare-type interior.
AS08-18-2838 - Aitken A, a 13-km crater to the north of Aitken.
AS08-18-2839 - View back towards Aitken's east rim with its dark floor visible at the bottom of frame.
The Moon is a world whose landscape, though stark and beautiful in its own way, can exhibit an unremitting lack of variety, especially over the far side. Vast reaches of terrain contain countless craters that display the various characteristics well understood by researchers. Yet every so often, a feature is noticed that confounds this predictable monotony. In the corner of frame AS08-18-2839 can be seen a cluster of craters in Aitken's dark interior, some of which have very unusual floors, likely related to the volcanism that led to the deposition of the mare material in the crater's floor. This cluster can be seen better in this Lunar Orbiter II image.
The crater, Aitken, lends its name to a feature which, despite its great size, was only discovered just prior to Apollo. The South Pole-Aitken Basin is the largest, deepest impact structure in the Solar System and Aitken sits astride its north rim. It is a feature that is difficult to discern from photographs but its existence was demonstrated by the Lunar Orbiter missions and spectacularly displayed in the mid-1990s, when the Clementine mission produced the first topographical map that dramatically showed its 2,500-kilometre extent and 8-kilometre depth.
AS08-18-2840 - Aitken Z, a relatively large satellite crater just inside the northern rim of Aitken, whose mare-type floor is visible beyond on the upper right.
AS08-18-2841 - View across the terracing inside the northwest rim of Aitken.
AS08-18-2842 - 30-km crater, Zwicky N, that sits in the middle of its highly deformed parent, Zwicky.
AS08-18-2843 - View looking south east towards Zwicky R, a 28-km irregularly-shaped crater.
AS08-18-2844 - 26-km crater, Cyrano A.
AS08-18-2844 is the last image on mag G to be taken in lunar orbit. The magazine will be next used after Apollo 8 has begun its return coast to Earth and will show the receding Moon.
Apollo Control, Houston. 71 hours, 22 minutes now into the flight of the Apollo 8. Apollo 8 continuing on its pass over the back side of the Moon. We're some 17 minutes away from time of reacquisition. At this time, Command Module Pilot Jim Lovell should be taking a look at three control points, which are evenly distributed across the back side of the Moon. These, repeated on later orbits with the optics, [are] designed primarily as a mapping tool, and increasing data in establishing a point in space. Each control point has two IPs, initial points associated with it. These serve the same homing end purpose to Jim Lovell as an IP does to a bombardier. He literally counts down to his CP [control point], 1 to 3 minutes, depending on which ID he has acquired, and all of the IDs, such things as craters, hills, rilles, and intersection of rilles, are, in all cases, within about a lunar degree of the ground track. Remember a lunar degree is 16 nautical miles versus 60 nautical miles on Earth. The same IP relationship exists on the front side with the landmark P-1 which is designated to the landing site. So at 71 hours, 23 minutes into the flight of Apollo 8; this is Apollo Control, Houston.
As Apollo 8 continues towards the Moon's eastern limb and reacquisition with Earth, it passes north of the 200-km crater, Tsiolkovsky. A sequence of 9 images are taken on magazine E, AS08-13-2248 to 2256. Judging by the lower contrast of these images, it appears they are being taken through one of the fogged-up windows. Tsiolkovsky is markedly different from much of the surrounding landscape by virtue of its dark, mare-like interior.
AS08-13-2248 - The floor of Tsiolkovsky is visible at the upper right of this view of the crater's the northwestern hinterland. Taken through fogged window.
AS08-13-2249 - Landscape north of Tsiolkovsky. Taken through fogged window.
AS08-13-2250 - Landscape north of Tsiolkovsky. Taken through fogged window.
AS08-13-2251 - Landscape north of Tsiolkovsky. Taken through fogged window.
AS08-13-2252 - View south towards Tsiolkovsky. Taken through fogged window.
AS08-13-2253 - View south towards Tsiolkovsky. Taken through fogged window.
AS08-13-2254 - View south towards Tsiolkovsky. Taken through fogged window.
AS08-13-2255 - View south towards Tsiolkovsky's western rim. Taken through fogged window.
AS08-13-2256 - View southwest to a cluster of small, bright craters that lie between Fermi and Hilbert. The largest crater in the frame is about 12 kilometres in diameter.
Apollo Control, Houston. 71 hours, 32 minutes now into the flight of Apollo 8. We're within 8 minutes acquiring the Apollo 8 spacecraft now in its second revolution around the Moon which - the first revolution began at midpoint in the back side. Apollo 8 should be yawing about 45 degrees just about now to establish a proper attitude for TV sighting. We'll continue to monitor as we draw nearer to that point when we reacquire the spacecraft. So at 71 hours, 32 minutes; this is Apollo Control, Houston.
This is Apollo Control, Houston at 71 hours, 38 minutes now into the flight of Apollo 8. We are now within 2 minutes of our predicted time of acquisition of this second pass across the front side of the Moon. During this pass, we expect to acquire via television. Our prime tracking site for the TV is the Madrid site. Meanwhile, Glynn Lunney, here in Mission Control, has gone around the room updating all his flight controllers on the requirements - Flight Plan requirements for this revolution. We will stand by and continue to monitor at 71 hours, 38 minutes. Mark, 1 minute to predicted time of acquisition. Stand by. Mark, 30 seconds and standing by. 5 seconds.
As the spacecraft comes into communication with Earth, it is already transmitting a TV picture of a bland lunar surface. Stills from this 13-minute transmission are taken from the DVD set on Apollo 8 made available by Mark Gray through www.spacecraftfilms.com.
071:39:46 Carr: Apollo 8, Houston. Over. [No answer.]
That's Jerry Carr making a call. No reply yet. Standing by. We're receiving telemetry data now. Standing by.
071:40:42 Carr: Apollo 8, Houston. Over. [Pause.]
The picture is coming in now.
071:40:52 Anders: Houston, this is Apollo 8 with the TV going. Over. [Pause.]
071:41:00 Carr: Apollo 8, this is Houston. Reading you loud and clear. We see your TV. It is a little bit - little bit clearer.
The wide-angle camera lens is being masked to leave a circular field of view, probably by the filter holder that has been taped to the front of it.
Still image taken from the TV coverage of Apollo 8's second pass across the near side.
Once the image settles down, we see a part of the Moon that is lit by a high Sun. The image is moving right to left which means south is to the top. There are no shadows and hence, very little definition except for some vague light and dark markings. The quality of the image is not being helped by the camera peering through a foggy window, probably window 5, next to Bill's couch.
071:41:15 Anders: Roger. The Moon is very bright and not too distinct in this area. I'll give you a shot of the horizon.
Bill tilts the camera up to look towards the southern horizon.
071:41:21 Carr: Roger.
071:41:25 Anders: How's that look? Is it on the top of your picture?
071:41:30 Carr: Apollo 8, this is Houston. It's a good picture - the horizon - we can't see many terrain features as yet. [Pause.]
071:41:41 Anders: Roger. [Pause.]
071:41:48 Carr: Apollo 8, Houston. We are beginning to pick up a few craters very dimly. The whole thing is pretty bright.
071:41:58 Anders: Roger. There is not much definition up here either out on the horizon. We're now approaching the craters See [Alden] and Bassett [Scaliger].
071:42:06 Carr: Roger. [Pause.]
071:42:15 Anders: I'll shift to the rendezvous window.
071:42:18 Carr: Roger, Bill.
071:42:22 Carr: Apollo 8, Houston. We want to take the DSE.
071:42:28 Anders: Roger. You've got it.
071:42:29 Carr: Roger. Looks like we've got a real good picture now.
Once Bill moves the camera to window 4 the image improves markedly. The rendezvous windows were unaffected by the fogging that mars the other three.
Still image taken from the TV coverage after the camera has been moved to a clearer rendezvous window.
The distinct bright circle on the right is Pasteur D, a 36-km crater. To the upper left, a large, slightly dark, circular feature is the 87-km crater Meitner. The bright ring punctuating its lower left rim is Meitner C.
071:42:35 Anders: Okay, that's the crater Brand [Danjon].
If the guide we have to the Apollo era names is correct, Danjon is not currently in the camera's field of view.
071:42:37 Carr: Roger. [Pause.]
071:42:42 Anders: Sorry, we missed Carr [Perepelkin].
071:42:43 Carr: Me too. [Pause.]
071:42:54 Carr: Apollo 8, this is Houston. We're going to need a cryo fan cycle sometime during this pass.
071:43:02 Anders: Roger. Can we wait 'til sunset?
071:43:06 Carr: Roger. We can wait.
What will be sunset for the spacecraft is sunrise on the Moon and they will be passing over the sunrise terminator soon.
"Cryo stirs" are used to mix the contents of the cryogenic tanks feeding the fuel cells. Over time, their contents tend to stratify into layers with different temperatures and therefore densities, making accurate measurements difficult. This is not a time critical procedure, in that if it is delayed a few minutes it will not have major consequences. Bill certainly wants to finish the video transmission before dealing with the cryo tanks. Although it is not a difficult task - it involves only switching tank fans on and off - it is a timed procedure, which required setting up the "kitchen timer" and making sure the tanks are stirred for a specified amount of time. Such distractions are not wanted at this time.
071:43:10 Anders: Okay. I think we are coming up on Mueller [Meitner] right now. [Long pause.]
In fact Meitner is leaving the frame.
071:43:53 Anders: There's a very new bright impact crater. Should be in the field of view now.
Charts show there is a very bright crater above and to the left of centre. However its intrinic brightness under these conditions is not being displayed by this camera.
Still image taken from the TV coverage.
Pasteur D is off to the left and the two craters to the bottom right are Pasteur B and Y. Most of the frame is actually showing the northern interior of Pasteur (known to the crew as Borman) though the high lighting and its huge size (224 kilometres) make it impossible to see in this coverage.
071:44:01 Carr: Roger, Bill.
071:44:05 Anders: You see it in the upper part of your screen.
071:44:10 Lovell: Say, Bill. How would you describe the color of the Moon from here?
071:44:14 Anders: The color of the Moon looks, ah, a very whitish gray, like dirty beach sand, and with lots of footprints in it.
071:44:23 Lovell: Don't these new craters look like pick-axes striking concrete creating a lot of fine haze dust? [Pause.]
071:44:38 Anders: There's some interesting features out on the other window. Let me switch windows on you now.
071:44:41 Carr: Roger, Bill. [Pause.]
071:44:48 Anders: You should see the horizon now in the top of your picture.
The view to the horizon is even more indistinct.
Still image taken from the TV coverage.
Just exiting the frame to the left is a large crater Hilbert, with the bright spots of Hilbert Y and W visible within. The dark patch on the horizon is a small area of mare material, Lacus Solitudinis.
071:44:51 Carr: Roger. We have the horizon, Bill. [Pause.]
071:45:01 Carr: Apollo 8, Houston.
071:45:02 Anders: I believe these are the craters now Bassett [Scaliger] and See [Alden].
Both of these craters are actually out of the frame to the left, beyond Hilbert.
071:45:07 Carr: Roger, Bill. If you have the polarizing filter handy, try flipping it in front, would you?
071:45:15 Anders: Roger.
071:45:18 Lovell: Gerry, as a matter of interest, there's a lot of what appears to be very small new craters that have these little white rays radiating from them.
071:45:29 Carr: Roger, Jim. [Long pause.]
071:45:50 Carr: Roger. We see the filter going over. [Pause.] Apollo 8, this is Houston. Looks like we have too much light. The polarizing filter doesn't help much. Go ahead and remove it again. [Pause.]
This image from the TV coverage, shows the polarising filter in front of the lens.
Still image taken from the TV coverage with polarising filter in place.
Any improvement in the picture has probably been caused by the darkening effect of the filter. The lower light level is likely to have reduced the tendency for bright detail to saturate the electron tube's sensor, rather than any polarising effect. The dark crater to the left is Pasteur Q, a 24-km crater on the southwestern rim of Pasteur.
071:46:16 Anders: Roger. It's removed. [Pause.]
The view widens out again as the filter is removed.
Still image taken from the TV coverage with polarising filter removed.
Pasteur Q is still to the left of the image. The 127-km crater Sklodowska, known to the crew as Houston, is an indistinct dark patch to the right. The bright rays of a small, fresh crater on its right-hand rim are more visible.
071:46:25 Carr: Looks like we just got...
071:46:26 Anders: Roger. We're just passing over the crater Borman [Pasteur], and there's Anders [Backlund] out there, Lovell [Hilbert] is right south of it.
Though these are all large craters, the high Sun and their great age has rendered all these features virtually invisible.
071:46:33 Carr: Roger. The TV is breaking up now. Okay. We are back with a good picture. Looks like we just have too much light. Our definition is rather weak.
071:46:49 Anders: Roger. [Long pause.]
071:47:01 Anders: Also, I'm fogging up the window here, Houston, among other problems.
071:47:06 Carr: Roger, Bill. The other window is better than this one.
071:47:12 Anders: Okay. [Pause.]
071:47:21 Carr: Yeah, much better picture, Bill. Much better.
When the view returns to the rendezvous window, a well-defined cluster of craters become visible.
Still image taken from the TV coverage.
The bright crater upper left is Hansky F at 9 kilometres diameter, and to its right is the reasonably distinct form of Hansky itself, a 43-km crater. Ludwig is visible as a dark patch to the lower left while Hirayama K is to the lower right.
071:47:25 Anders: All right. The right side of the camera is pointing retrograde. [Pause.] We are now passing abeam of the crater Houston [Sklodowska]. And I'll show you the camera over there once for the folks in Texas.
071:47:47 Carr: Roger. [Pause.]
071:47:53 Anders: It's a big and sprawly one; It's got those two impact craters, one to the right and one to the left.
071:48:03 Carr: Roger, Bill. [Pause.]
071:48:13 Anders: How's your picture?
The centre of the picture is over-exposed. This is the same place where there should be a bright ray crater on the western rim of Sklodowska.
Still image taken from the TV coverage.
Sklodowska A is visible as the dark patch to the left with Sklodowska Y being the bright-rimmed crater below it.
071:48:15 Carr: Still about the same, Bill. It's - The terrain's pretty bright. We are not getting much definition at all. [Pause.] Definition on this side is much, much better.
071:48:26 Anders: Okay, I think - Okay. We are leaving the window. That gives you an idea how bad our window is.
071:48:34 Carr: Roger. This picture now is much better. I guess the light levels are decreasing now.
Returning the camera to the rendezvous window results in an improved picture. Also, as they come towards the terminator, the craters begin showing the first hints of oblique lighting that helps reveal their structure and shape.
Still image taken from the TV coverage.
Hirayama K is to the left and Brunner, a 53-km crater known to the crew as Collins is on the right with the bright Brunner N above it.
071:48:42 Anders: Okay, we are coming up on the crater Collins [Brunner].
071:48:45 Carr: Roger. What crater is that that's just going off (out of the frame).
071:48:52 Anders: That's some small impact crater.
Carr is asking about Hirayama K.
071:48:56 Carr: Roger.
071:48:57 Anders: We'll call it John Aaron's.
John Aaron mans the EECOM console on the Green Team of flight controllers, responsible for keeping an eye on the spacecraft's electrical and environmental systems.
071:48:59 Carr: Okay.
071:49:04 Anders: If he'll keep looking at the systems anyway.
071:49:06 Carr: He just quit looking. [Pause.]
To try and improve the visibility of these images, I captured 27 consecutive frames and stacked them using Registax, an astronomy program for image processing, which reduced the noise and interference and sharpened the detail.
Still image taken from the TV coverage, with enhancement applied.
Brunner is slightly right of centre.
071:49:19 Lovell: Jerry, another of ID feature: these small impact craters have dark spots in the center, where it appears that they buried in it and hit some new material down below and scattered a lot of fine white dust around them. [Long pause.]
071:49:32 Carr:, Roger. Understand, Jim. [Pause.]
071:49:39 Carr: This - ah, Houston - Apollo 8, This is Houston. Looks like we could see Collins [Brunner] now.
071:49:48 Anders: Roger, there is Collins [Brunner] for you.
071:49:52 Lovell: And Collins [Brunner] is right on the edge of Smythe's Sea which we're about to pass over.
Brunner has now moved to the upper left of the frame.
Still image taken from the TV coverage.
The dark material of Mare Smythii is beginning to appear at the bottom of the frame. Particularly visible is a crater whose rim is incomplete with its interior having been filled with lava. This is Helmert, a 26-km flooded crater.
071:49:57 Carr: Roger. [Long pause.]
071:50:24 Carr: Apollo 8. This is...
071:50:26 Anders: We are now going across the Smythe Sea. Go ahead.
071:50:31 Carr: Roger. We just saw a Stellenword [?] go by.
071:50:39 Anders: Rog. He was really in a hurry.
071:50:45 Carr: Roger. Picture is much improved now. Getting better all the time.
071:50:51 Anders: Roger. The terrain here is, as you can see, not well defined. [Pause.] We are going to start a roll to the left, in order to come across the target area, with the television...
071:51:15 Carr: Roger.
071:51:16 Anders: ...landing site area.
071:51:18 Carr: Roger Bill. [Long pause.]
Helmert has moved to the top left of the image and the dark floor of the 63-km Kiess, another of the flooded craters within Mare Smythii, dominates the lower left corner.
Still image taken from the TV coverage.
It seems that Kiess is referred to as O'Neill by the crew and Kiess S as Dennis.
The crater O'Neill was named after the godfather of one of the AFJ editors, Frank O'Brien. John O'Neill, who provided Frank with all the Apollo era documents that he treasures to this day, was the director of Flight Planning in Apollo days. John later replaced Gene Kranz as Director of Manned Space Operations. The following is from O'Neill's oral history interview, which, with many others, resides at the Johnson Space Center History website.
Butler, from 2001 oral history interview: "Did you get a chance to hear the broadcast on Christmas Eve?
O'Neill, from 2001 oral history interview: "Yes, yes. We not only heard that broadcast, but in order to be able to pass some information back and forth between mission control and the spacecraft, they took otherwise undesignated craters on the Moon that were prominent enough that they could use them for navigation, and, of course, the names don't stick. Only the astronomers and, you know, people who are really renowned in the field would ever really have a crater named after them, but it was kind of nice that on the Mission Control Center maps on the console and on the map in the spacecraft, they had given the craters the names of the people that had worked closely with the crew. So in the transcript somewhere it said, yes, 'O'Neill Crater.' At that, I think the people in O'Neill, Nebraska, no relatives of mine, all thought, 'Hey, this is really neat. They've named something after our town.'
John O'Neill shared other stories from Apollo 8, this one related to the velcro pads used in the spacecraft to hold cue cards and other loose items.
O'Neill, from 2001 oral history interview: "By the time we got to Apollo 11, the Velcro business had really progressed, and there was sticky-back Velcro like everybody knows it today. That was not the case when we flew Apollo 8. The way that things worked in the launch preparation, the backup crew would go to the spacecraft and set all the switches, and they would put the checklists in right place to be available to the crew. They would put the launch cue cards in the place. So the Apollo 8, and you can imagine the first people to be leaving Earth orbit altogether, everyone was really taking that one seriously. But when the backup crew went out to put the cue cards up, they started into the process. As they were getting the last ones in place, the first ones were falling off. That was because at that time, the Velcro didn't come with sticky stuff already on it and you just peeled it off. They had to mix a compound called RTV. Apparently, the shelf life had been exceeded on the RTV they gave us, and it was just plain not holding the cue card to the Velcro. So they had to peel off all these cue cards and bring them back. There we are in the building where the crew quarters were located and where we had a flight data file area. Bill [William R.] Pogue, one of the astronauts, who was on the backup crew, and I are there in the middle of the night, trying to get all the old RTV scraped off and the new stuff applied. I remember that Bill Anders, who had a little trouble sleeping, I think, and I honestly believe, and I think they've said this themselves, that they only thought there was a 50-50 chance that this was all going to work. I mean the mission, not the cue cards. But anyhow, he couldn't sleep, and he saw us down there working. So he brought us a turkey sandwich in the middle of the night, and we took a break from trying to re-stick the Velcro on these cards and had a turkey sandwich with the guy that was going to go out of Earth orbit the next day and go to the Moon.
The following exchange is somewhat confusing as Bill and Jerry Carr seem to be discussing Kiess and and also Kiess S, bright crater left of centre.
071:51:38 Anders: How is that crater in - right in the middle look now?
071:51:41 Carr: Roger. That's a very good one; that must be O'Neill.
071:51:49 Anders: Rog. [Long pause.]
071:52:09 Carr: Roger, Bill. We see O'Neill real well, also the smaller crater off to the side of it.
The dark basalt of Mare Smythii is giving way again to light highland material.
Still image taken from the TV coverage.
Kiess S and R dominate the lop left corner of this image, with Kästner B directly below.
071:52:19 Anders: That's Dennis.
071:52:21 Carr: Roger. [Long pause.]
071:52:38 Borman: Houston. This is Apollo 8. We are going to terminate our program for this pass and get on with the preparations for LOI-2, if you say we're Go.
LOI-2 is the second retrograde burn, intended to circularize their orbit around the Moon, at 110 km (60 nautical miles).
071:52:49 Carr: Apollo 8. This is Houston. Roger.
071:52:55 Borman: Okay. Signing off until ninth rev. Apollo 8.
071:53:00 Carr: Apollo 8, Houston. Roger. [Pause.]
Shortly before the transmission ends, the camera is moved to the south-facing window.
Still image taken from the TV coverage.
The small crater in the foreground is the 18-kilometre crater Black, while the larger (94-km) crater in the centre of the frame is Ansgarius.
The Flight Director prompts Carr to thank the crew for letting the ground see the view.
071:53:07 Carr: Apollo 8, Houston. Thank you for the look.
071:53:12 Borman: Roger.
Comm break.
Apollo Control, Houston. Most of those craters identified in the conversation, largely over the east part of this front-side pass are actually unnamed. They have been coded for purposes of this flight. Perhaps you recognized some of the names, names like Bassett, See, and by the John Aaron, John is EECOM on the Green Shift. So at 71 hours, 54 minutes, we continue to monitor.
071:55:02 Carr: Apollo 8, this is Houston. You have the DSE.
071:55:08 Borman: Thank you, Houston.
071:55:10 Carr: Roger. Apollo 8, on your backside data, it's pretty much unintelligible. We suggest, Bill, that you recheck the position of your mike for your backside pass and try to speak a little bit louder and more distinctly. The last one we listened to was pretty much unintelligible. Over.
071:55:34 Anders: Roger. As soon as we get squared away, we will give you a real quick real-time summary.
071:55:39 Carr: Roger. [Long pause.]
071:55:56 Anders: And, Houston, you might let us know, can we do the red/blue filter exercise with both these filters - red filters on. Over.
071:56:06 Carr: Stand by. [Pause.]
071:56:10 Carr: Apollo 8, this is Houston. Apollo 8, Houston. Negative. [Long pause.]
071:56:33 Carr: Apollo 8, this is Houston with an LOI-2 maneuver PAD. Ready to copy?
071:56:41 Borman: Stand by.
071:56:42 Carr: Houston. Standing by. [Long pause.]
071:57:06 Borman: Okay, Houston. Go ahead.
071:57:07 Carr: Apollo 8, this is Houston. LOI-2, SPS/G&N; 46427; minus 0.53, plus 1.41; 073:35:05.70; minus 0135.0; plus all zeros, plus all zeros. Copy?
071:58:03 Anders: Roger.
071:58:06 Carr: Roger. 000, 175, 358; 0060.7, plus 0060.6; 0135.0, 0:09, 0126.5; 02, 311.2, 19.7. Copy?
071:59:00 Anders: Roger.
071:59:05 Carr: Roger. Taurus, Aida. I repeat; Taurus, Aida, Up 16.2, left 0.1; the remainder not applicable. GDC align, Sirius, Rigel; 129, 155, 010; negative ullage. Horizon window, ignition minus 3, 27 degrees, horizon left. At ignition 18 degrees, horizon left. Before readback, configure for receiving any update. Over.
072:00:16 Borman: Roger. Understand. Configure for receiving an update.
072:00:26 Borman: Okay. We're in P00 and Accept. Go ahead.
The PAD is interpreted as follows: The apocynthion and pericynthion are essentially identical showing that a circular orbit is being aimed for.
Other parameters on the PAD sheet are not applicable to this manoeuvre because they relate to Earth reentry.
Among the final comments to the PAD are that although the SPS propellant tanks are partially depleted, Mission Control have determined that there is no need to perform an ullage burn to settle their contents. The final comment refers to where in the rendezvous window the commander can expect to see the Moon's horizon, and when this occurs. At the edges of this window, lines have been painted to give the seated crewman a good idea of the angle an horizon makes with the spacecraft's X-axis, a helpful check that all is well with the spacecraft's control system. At three minutes to the burn, the Moon's horizon should be at about 27 degrees. By the time of ignition, it should be at 18 degrees.
072:00:30 Carr: Roger. I'm ready for your readback.
072:00:35 Borman: LOI-2; SPS/G&N; 46427; minus 0.53, plus 1.41; 073:35:05.70; minus 0135.0, plus 0000, plus 0000; 000, 175, 358; 0060.7, plus 0060.6; 0135.0, 0:09, 0126.5; 02, 311.2, 19.7; Taurus, Aida, up 16.2, left 0.1; the remainder not applicable. Sirius, Rigel, 129, 155, 010; no ullage. Ignition minus 3, 27 degrees, ignition, 18 degrees.
072:01:51 Carr: Apollo 8, Houston. Roger. Readback is correct. [Long pause.]
072:02:12 Carr: Apollo 8, this is Houston. Your map update for rev 2/3, no change. Over.
072:02:22 Borman: Understand. No change, rev 2/3.
An update for the timings of landmarks for Jim's sighting exercise was given at 070:32:55. Those timings are still valid.
072:02:25 Carr: Roger, Frank. You can expect Go/No Go for the next rev at 20 minutes before LOS Over.
This is in response to Frank's insistence at 070:04:15 that a Go/NoGo on the spacecraft be given before each LOS.
072:02:37 Borman: Roger. [Pause.]
072:02:45 Carr: Apollo 8, this is Houston. We'll try to make that call 20 minutes before every LOS Over.
072:02:54 Borman: Fine. [Long pause.]
072:03:20 Carr: Apollo 8, Houston. We have the CSM vector starting on the LV. Over. [Long pause.]
072:03:27 Borman: Thank you. [Pause.]
072:03:36 Lovell: Houston, this is Apollo 8.
072:03:40 Carr: Apollo 8, Houston. Go.
072:03:44 Lovell: Roger. Just an interesting feature: on my center window, which has ice on it, it is now beginning to melt. I'm beginning to see through it.
072:03:53 Carr: Roger. That's good news.
072:03:59 Lovell: And again we're directly over our favorites, Messier and Pickering (Messier A). [Long pause.]
072:04:23 Lovell: The view at this altitude, Houston, is tremendous. There is no trouble picking out features that we learned on the map.
072:04:33 Carr: Roger, Jim, that's good news. What do you think of the lighting situation as far as the range of lighting for good visibility?
072:04:46 Lovell: The range from here is outstanding. I wish we had the TV still going because the brown area now is darker. We have just passed over the Sea of Fertility, and the mare is darker. The mountain range has got more contrast, has more contrast because of the Sun angle. Bill's got the 16-mm going for us.
Bill also seems to be busy with a Hasselblad camera. Five frames are shot of the area west of Mare Fecunditatis right at the terminator.
AS08-13-2257 - South of Mare Tranquillitatis.
AS08-13-2258 - South of Mare Tranquillitatis.
AS08-13-2259 - South of Mare Tranquillitatis.
Composite of AS08-13-2257, 2258 and 2259
Composite of AS08-13-2257, 2258 and 2259 - Highland area south of Mare Tranquillitatis that includes Maskelyne A (heavily shadowed in the centre) and a bay off Mare Tranquillitatis.
AS08-13-2260 - South of Mare Tranquillitatis. Note the dome structure revealed in the extreme low-angle lighting. This is likely a volcanic structure formed from the ash that was thrown from a vent.
AS08-13-2261 - South of Mare Tranquillitatis.
072:05:10 Carr: Roger.
072:05:13 Lovell: There is a crater Taruntius, I believe, over there. [Long pause.]
072:05:27 Lovell: We will try to get TV on this at a later time, when we are not getting ready for a burn.
072:05:32 Carr: Roger, Jim.
072:05:40 Lovell: I can see the old second initial point right now, Mount Marilyn.
072:05:47 Carr: Roger. [Long pause.]
One of the surface points Jim is going to mark on is a planned landing site in Mare Tranquillitatis designated B-1. To help coordinate his sighting, he has an "initial point" which, in this case, is an unnamed mountain on the southeastern corner of Mare Tranquillitatis. Jim has named it Mount Marilyn after his wife, continuing the practice these pioneers had of choosing names taken from their friends and associates. Though all these names are unofficial and have never been ratified by the IAU (International Astronomical Union), that of Mount Marilyn has been given a little extra life by being highlighted in the 1995 movie Apollo 13 when Tom Hanks played Jim Lovell.
072:06:18 Lovell: Houston, at these Sun angles, everything is quite distinct; shadows are good; the ground doesn't have any sunlight returned. It appears very good visibility at these Sun angles. [Long pause.]
072:06:30 Carr: Roger. [Long pause.]
072:07:02 Lovell: As a matter of fact, Bill just mentioned that the visibility seems to be excellent just about up to the terminator. It's something which I didn't expect. I thought there would be a little bit more gradual shift to darkness, but it's very sharp and distinct.
072:07:15 Carr: Roger, Jim.
072:07:19 Anders: Of course, we are in a very high phase angle now.
072:07:24 Carr: Apollo 8, Houston. All of your updates are in; the computer is yours. Over.
072:07:32 Borman: Thank you. [Pause.]
072:07:41 Carr: The update block.
072:07:44 Carr: Roger. Break. Apollo 8, Houston. Your TEI-2 PAD is good; stand by to copy your TEI-3. Over. [Long pause.]
072:08:05 Borman: Ready for TEI-3.
072:08:08 Carr: Roger, TEI-3; SPS/G&N; 46427; minus 0.53, plus 1.41; 075:31:29.95; plus 2896.0, minus 0045.6, plus 0072.0. Copy?
072:09:06 Borman: Roger.
072:09:09 Carr: Roger. 180, 021, 002, not applicable, plus 0018.8; 2897.2, 2:51, 2879.3; 40, 276.9, 39.6. Copy?
072:09:58 Borman: Roger.
072:10:00 Carr: Roger. 033, 000.0, left 1.7; plus 08.83, minus 165.00; 1295.5, 36185, 146:35:07; Sirius, Rigel, 129, 155, 010; ullage, 2 jets, 20 seconds, quads Bravo and Delta. Horizon on the two degree line at ignition minus three minutes. Assume there's no LOI-2. Over. [Long pause.]
Before they entered lunar orbit, CapCom read two "get-you-home" PADs to the crew. These could be used in an emergency to bring Apollo 8 home at the end of the first and second orbits. The latter of these, the TEI-2 PAD is still reckoned to be good enough to get the crew on a path to Earth if required, therefore they will read up a PAD for an abort at the end of the third orbit. The TEI-3 PAD will be sent twice, without and with the LOI-2 burn being assumed. The first of these is interpreted as follows: The next five parameters all relate to re-entry, during which an important milestone is "Entry Interface," defined as being 400,000 feet (121.92 km) altitude. In this context, a more important milestone is when atmospheric drag on the spacecraft imparts a deceleration of 0.05 g.
There are three additional notes to this PAD:
  1. The ullage burn to settle the contents of the propellant tanks is to fire RCS (Reaction Control System) jets B and D for twenty seconds.
  2. At the correct attitude for the abort burn at three minutes to ignition, they should expect the Moon's horizon to line up with the 2° marks on the left rendezvous window.
  3. The PAD data assumes the crew will not have performed the LOI-2 manoeuvre.
Once Frank has read back this first PAD, A second will be read up to the spacecraft that assumes that they had made the LOI-2 burn.
072:11:29 Borman: Roger. SPS G&N; this is for TEI-3; 46427; minus 0.53, plus 1.41; 075:31:29.95; plus 2896.0, minus 0045.6, plus 0072.0; 180, 021, 002; N/A, plus 0018.8; 2897.2, 2:51, 2879.3; 40, 276.9, 39.6; 033, 000.0, left 1.7; plus 008.83, minus 165.00; 1295.5, 36185, 146:35:07. Sirius, Rigel, 129, 155, 010; two jet, 20 seconds, B and D; horizon, two degrees at ignition minus three minutes, assumes no LOI-2.
072:12:51 Carr: Apollo 8, Houston. Readback is correct. [Long pause.]
072:13:13 Carr: Apollo 8, this is Houston with a TEI-3, with an (assumption of) LOI-2 (having occurred). Over. [Pause.]
072:13:31 Borman: Go ahead.
072:13:33 Carr: Roger, TEI-3; SPS/G&N; 45810; minus 0.53, plus 1.41; 075:21:28.46; plus 3012.8, minus 0054.0, plus 0191.1; 180, 019, 001. Copy?
072:14:46 Borman: Roger. Go ahead.
072:14:48 Carr: Roger. Not applicable, plus 0018.8; 3019.3, 2:55, 3000.8; 40, 274.2, 39.6; 033, down 02.1, left 1.8. Copy?
072:15:42 Borman: Roger.
072:15:44 Carr: Roger. Plus 08.88, minus 165.00; 1295.5, 36185, 146:34:50; GDC align, no change; ullage, no change; horizon, one degree at ignition minus three. Assume LOI-2. Over.
The second TEI-3 PAD is interpreted as follows: The next five parameters all relate to re-entry, during which an important milestone is "Entry Interface," defined as being 400,000 feet (121.92 km) altitude. In this context, a more important milestone is when atmospheric drag on the spacecraft imparts a deceleration of 0.05 g. Again, there are three additional notes to this PAD:
  1. The ullage burn is also unchanged from the previous PAD.
  2. At the correct attitude for the abort burn at three minutes to ignition, they should expect the Moon's horizon to line up with the minus 1° mark on the left rendezvous window.
  3. The PAD data assumes the LOI-2 manoeuvre has been performed.
Once again, Frank reads it all back to that folk in Mission Control can check that he has copied it accurately.
072:16:45 Borman: Go ahead - or Houston, this is Apollo 8. TEI-3 with LOI-2; SPS G&N; 45810; minus 0.53, plus 1.41; 075:21:28.46; plus 3013.8, minus 0054.0, plus 0191.1; 180, 019, 001; N/A, plus 0018.8; 3019.3, 2:55, 3000.8; 40, 274.2, 39.6; 033, down 02.1, left 1.8; plus 08.88, minus 165.00; 1295.5, 36185, 146:34:50. No change, no change, one degree in the rise of ignition minus three. Assumes LOI-2. [Long pause.]
072:18:04 Carr: Apollo 8, Houston. Roger. I made one mistake; horizon window is minus one degree. Over.
072:18:16 Borman: Minus one degree.
072:18:18 Carr: Roger. Readback is correct. [Long pause.]
072:18:36 Carr: Apollo 8, this is Houston. You are Go across the board for LOI-2. (We) would like to take the DSE for a dump. Over.
Mission Control would like to retrieve the engineering data recorded on the DSE tape from the time they were behind the Moon. Before they do, Bill will ask to place some more comments on the voice track. However, these are missing from the record.
072:18:47 Borman: Roger. You got it. I understand we are Go for LOI-2.
072:18:51 Carr: That's affirmative.
072:18:52 Anders: Before you take the DSE for a dump, let me give you a quick - let me give you a quick rundown on the DSE before you dump it, if you will.
072:19:01 Carr: Roger. Standing by.
072:19:06 Anders: Roger.
Comm break.
This is Apollo Control, Houston. Our GET for ignition of LOI-2 is 73 hours, 35 minutes and 5 seconds. Aphelion [means apolune or apocynthion] resulting from this burn, 60.7 nautical miles [112.4 km]; perilune [or pericynthion], 60.6 nautical miles [112.2 km] - just about as close to circular as you can get. The burn duration expected, 9 seconds; Delta-V for this burn, 135 feet per second [41 m/s]. On this pass over the front of the Moon, our spacecraft was at 115 nautical miles [213 km] altitude at the time of acquisition, 115 nautical miles in altitude. Our aphelion [means apocynthion] which also occurs on this - over this side of the Moon, 168.5 nautical miles - 168.5 (312.1 km). Turning back, continuing to monitor now, this is Apollo Control, Houston.
072:21:02 Anders: Okay, Houston. You've got the tape.
072:21:06 Carr: Apollo 8, Houston. Roger. [Long pause.]
072:21:52 Carr: Apollo 8, Houston. Would you believe that Taurus, Aida is Pleiades? Over.
072:22:01 Lovell: Thank you.
Long comm break.
This is Apollo Control, Houston. 72 hours, 24 minutes into this mission. In this lull, perhaps we can clarify some of the names you heard being given to craters during that television pass. Our geology groups here had to apply some names to certain key landmarks instead of using just number and code, they decided to give them real life names. These are in no way officially named craters. In some cases, I think in most cases, the names aren't even - have not even been submitted to the international body which must pass on those kinds of official names. But to clarify this, we thought we would run through some of them that are in use in an area that couldn't be too well observed by telescopes from Earth.
We have some pictures to work from, and you distinctly heard Lovell - Anders and Lovell talk about craters named for themselves. Incidentally, this is perhaps a pardonable bit of geologist personality creeping into it. Historically they have been named for discovering geologists or observers. One was got a real time name of John Aaron because he is the electrical, environmental and communications console operator who spotted the need for cutting in the secondary water boiler as we started to circle the Moon, that is he noticed the water level was down and he suggested we go to the secondary loop, apparently when all the others were at the window. In future passes, you may hear names like Schmitt named for Jack Schmitt; Gilruth, the director of this center; Debus, the director of the Kennedy Space Center, Kurt Debus. There is an unofficial one, Joe Shea, the former manager of the Apollo Spacecraft program; Ted Freeman, first astronaut killed in an airplane crash in October of 1964. There is a crater bearing the name of George Low, Sam Phillips, Alan Shepard, Mercury, Washington, Apollo, and on either side the track there is one named for Jim Webb and for Tom Paine, past and present administrators of NASA.
Moving along the line we see craters named for Grissom, Gus Grissom, Ed White, Roger Chaffee, clustered three craters fairly close together and just south of the ground track we just heard about. Coming along that same track we see one bearing the name of Chris Kraft, Don Slayton, Jerry Carr, and on along. I'm sure we'll here more of these. You did hear today about the crater Bassett, so named for Charlie Bassett, the late Charlie N. Bassett, and Elliot See, a crater right beside it. Two men killed in an airplane crash in St. Louis, in Feb. 1966. At 72 hours, 27 minutes into the flight, this is Apollo Control Houston standing by.
072:27:15 Anders: Have you got the tape dumped, Houston? We're about to lose the High Gainer.
072:27:32 Carr: Apollo 8, Houston. We're dumping now - looks like we'll be five or ten more minutes.
072:27:42 Anders: Okay. Try to get it dumped, and I'll play it, rewind it if necessary.
072:27:47 Carr: Roger. Copy. [Long pause.]
While Bill deals with the DSE, Jim is realigning the guidance platform using P52. The two stars used for this are star 20 (Dnoces) and star 21 (Alphard). Jim's sightings are accurate to one hundredth of a degree.
072:28:55 Anders: We are about to lose it [the HGA], Houston. How far are you on the tape dump? [Long pause.]
072:29:01 Carr: Apollo 8, this is Houston. It looks like we have lost it, they weren't quite done. We are standing by for a countdown to Biomed switch left. Over.
072:29:12 Borman: Roger.
072:29:12 Lovell: Look, we would like to get it dumped if we could. Stand by a second.
072:29:18 Carr: Okay.
072:29:19 Borman: Did you get it stopped? [Pause.]
072:29:30 Carr: Bill, you can go ahead and cut if off. [Long pause.]
072:29:54 Anders: Okay. We are not going to have High Gain now until the next time around. Can you give me some idea of how much of that pass you got.
072:30:04 Carr: Apollo 8, this is Houston. We - negative. We can't tell. You can go ahead and turn it off.
072:30:12 Anders: Well, how long did you - did you dump it?
072:30:15 Carr: Roger. Stand by; they are checking. [Long pause.]
072:31:09 Carr: Apollo 8, Houston. [Pause.]
072:31:21 Anders: Go ahead Houston.
072:31:23 Carr: Apollo 8, this is Houston reading you with a great deal of noise in the background. Go ahead and rewind your tape and start it in low bit rate, and we will try and catch that dump at the end of the next rev. [Long pause.]
072:31:46 Anders: Roger, I would like to have an idea on how much you dumped. So I know whether [garbled) all these things or whether we have better setting in.
072:31:56 Carr: Roger. Stand by. [Long pause.]
072:32:29 Carr: Apollo 8, Houston. We are working on that time. We should be able to tell you before LOS Over.
072:32:47 Carr: Apollo 8, Houston. Over.
072:32:53 Anders: Go ahead.
072:32:55 Carr: Roger. Did you read my last?
072:32:59 Anders: That is affirmative. You will give us rundown when you figure out how much tape you dumped.
072:33:03 Carr: Roger. They feel reasonably sure, however, that if you rewind and start low bit rate, we'll be able to get all of the burn and still not run into what needs to be downlinked yet.
Comm break.
Tape consumption is much lower in low-bit-rate recording. They hope therefore that during the next pass, they will only record over that part of the tape that has already been dumped to Earth, leaving the untransmitted data for the next near-side pass.
072:35:32 Borman: Houston, Apollo 8.
072:35:33 Carr: Apollo 8, Houston. Go.
072:35:34 Borman: Roger. What REFSMMAT are we using for this LOI-2 burn? [Long pause.]
072:36:11 Carr: Stand by, Frank. We're talking.
072:36:17 Borman: Okay, I notice an LOI-2 REFSMMAT. If it is, I don't understand why the pitch is 175.
Comm break.
072:38:12 Carr: Apollo 8, Houston.
072:38:17 Borman: Go ahead.
072:38:18 Carr: Apollo 8, this is Houston. You are right; the REFSMMAT is LOI-2. The REFSMMAT was determined out there before the last midcourse correction, and since that time, there has been a slight change of trajectory, and the point at which you are burning LOI-2 now is just a shade different than where it was originally planned. Over.
This exchange exemplifies the somewhat rushed nature of the Apollo 8 mission. Just 4 months before, NASA had not even intended sending Apollo 8 to the Moon. Now, with the flight in progress, the ad hoc planning that has gone into the details of the flight is still not fully embedded. Frank is being very careful that he has the subtleties of their spacecraft's attitude clear in his head before they commit to anything.
The original intention was for the guidance platform to be oriented to an attitude that matches the expected spacecraft attitude at LOI-2, though with the spacecraft's X-axis in the opposite direction to account for this being a retrograde burn. This platform orientation, the LOI-2 REFSMMAT, was calculated prior to the last midcourse correction. However, since being placed in that orientation, much has happened to the spacecraft's trajectory such that the desired attitude for the burn no longer precisely matches the platform's alignment and the figures given in the PAD do not correspond exactly with the cardinal points on the FDAI. In the future, REFSMMATs will be recalculated so that attitude differences will not occur, a lesson learned from this pioneering flight.
072:38:42 Borman: Okay, thank you.
Comm break.
072:41:43 Carr: Apollo 8, Houston. [No answer.]
072:41:51 Carr: Apollo 8, Houston. Over. [No answer.]
072:42:12 Carr: Apollo 8, Houston. Over. [No answer.]
072:43:27 Carr: Apollo 8, Houston. Over. [No answer.]
072:43:45 Carr: Apollo 8, Houston. Over. [No answer.]
072:44:10 Carr: Apollo 8, Houston. Over. [No answer.]
072:44:35 Carr: Apollo 8, Houston. Over. [No answer.]
072:45:12 Carr: Apollo 8, Houston. Over. [No answer.]
072:45:26 Carr: Apollo 8, Houston. Over.
072:45:33 Borman: Roger. Go ahead, Houston. Apollo 8.
072:45:35 Carr: Apollo 8, this is Houston. DSE is rewound, and it's yours - available for use is about one hour of low bit rate and two minutes of high bit rate for your burn without running over your good data. Over. [Long pause.]
Mission Control have calculated that they can have the crew record data at low-bit-rate for and hour, with the important engine and burn data being recorded at the much faster high-bit-rate without recording over the data from the previous rev that has still to be transmitted to Earth.
072:45:52 Borman: Roger. Do you read us now, Houston.
072:45:55 Carr: Roger. Reading you loud and clear now.
072:46:00 Borman: Okay. [Long pause.]
072:46:16 Carr: Apollo 8, this is Houston. You are Go for LOI-2 on the next rev. Over.
072:46:23 Borman: I can understand Go for LOI-2 on the next rev.
072:46:31 Borman: How do you read, Houston?
072:46:33 Carr: Apollo 8, this is Houston. Reading you loud and clear. How me?
072:46:40 Borman: Loud and clear.
072:46:41 Carr: Roger. Frank, did you get my message on the DSE?
072:46:47 Borman: Roger. Roger.
072:46:49 Carr: Okay.
Long comm break.
072:50:15 Carr: Apollo 8, Houston. Verify the Telemetry Input switch, Low. Over.
Apollo 8 will be disappearing behind the Moon again in about 14 minutes. Mission Control want the telemetry feed to Earth (and to the DSE recorder) to be set to low-bit-rate. The recorder will automatically change speed depending on the data rate it receives.
072:50:23 Borman: Roger. Understand; Telemetry Input, Low.
072:50:26 Carr: Affirmative.
072:50:27 Borman: Going to Low; it was in High.
072:50:28 Carr: Roger.
Long comm break.
Bill embarks on a check of the spacecraft's main systems, the Caution & Warning system, the Command Module's RCS, the SPS, EPS and ECS per the procedures on pages S-1, 3, 5 and 17 of the LMP checklist. Frank begins preparations for the LOI-2 burn by entering the detains from the PAD into the computer using P30, performing a check of the EMS and running P40, the program that prepares for a controlled burn.
072:59:37 Carr: Apollo 8, Houston. 5 minutes to LOS Over.
072:59:44 Borman: Thank you, Houston.
Long comm break.
073:03:30 Carr: Apollo 8, this Houston. One minute to LOS; all systems Go. Over.
073:03:40 Borman: Apollo 8. Roger. [Long pause.]
073:04:25 Carr: So long.
073:04:30 Borman: Adios. See you.
Very long comm break.
This is Apollo Control, Houston; at 73 hours, 04 minutes into the flight of Apollo 8. We are at 8 seconds away from time of Loss Of Signal. Okay, they said goodbye to the ground as they passed over at - on the next pass over the back side of the Moon. This pass over the back side is where we will have our Lunar Orbit Insertion burn number 2. To quickly go over those numbers again; we have a Ground Elapsed Time of ignition at 73 hours, 35 minutes, 05 seconds. Apolune, 60.7 nautical miles [112.4 km]; perilune, 60.6 nautical miles [112.2 km] are expected to result from the burn. The burn, one of very short duration, 9 seconds; Delta-V, 135 feet per second [41 m/s]. We will be looking for them when we next acquire at 43 minutes, 30 seconds from this time. At 73 hours, 05 minutes into the flight of Apollo 8; this is Apollo Control, Houston.
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