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Day 4: Lunar Orbit 7 Journal Home Page Day 4: Lunar Orbit 9

Apollo 8

Day 4: Lunar Orbit 8

Corrected Transcript and Commentary Copyright © 2001-2021 by W. David Woods and Frank O'Brien. All rights reserved.
Last updated 2021-02-27
082:54:59 Anders (onboard): Have you - have you done any of the cryos?
082:55:03 Borman (onboard): Huh?
082:55:20 Borman (onboard): Is that thing running now?
082:55:24 Borman (onboard): Is that thing running already?
Apollo Control, Houston here. 82 hours, 56 minutes into the flight. We have just lost signal with the spacecraft and I believe you heard earlier Frank Borman declare that he had a tired crew. Jim Lovell was very tired; you could tell it from his voice as the afternoon wore on. He said he was relieving him of all further Flight Plan responsibilities. Five minutes after he said that - he came back on the line and said Lovell is snoring already. ...
082:57:18 Borman (onboard): Huh? Did you put it on Off?
082:57:31 Anders (onboard): Here you go.
082:58:06 Borman (onboard): We're doing fine; why don't you go to bed? I'll [garble]. Just tell me what the click - just turn that thing? Look! This thing here? Right over your head?
082:58:26 Borman (onboard): No, I want you to get to bed. Come on now. You've been up all the time; it's in the Flight Plan. God damn it, go to bed! To hell with the other stuff! We'll bust our ass for it.
082:58:42 Borman (onboard): Do I just turn that when the time comes? What do I have to do to start it?
082:59:53 Anders (onboard): [Garble] eighth; it's going to start with me.
This is Apollo Control, Houston here. You heard Borman and since that conversation, the project manager George Low has come over to our console and he said that he urged me to make it very clear that Apollo spacecraft Program Office is altogether happy with the data they have gotten today and they feel like they have gotten as nearly 100 percent of the data as they could possibly get. He is quite pleased with it and he is ready to give the crew a well earned little extra bonus rest. According to the last information we have from the Flight Director, Cliff Charlesworth, and from the incoming Flight Director, we are going through a change of shifts here. We will still have the television pass as scheduled at about 8:25 or 8:27 in Houston time, to last approximately 45 minutes. We'll refine more as we get to it. Let me check my log here. We show it scheduled for 85 hours, 37 minutes as delineated earlier in the day. It used to run to 86 hours, 14 minutes. That's Elapsed Time and this is Apollo Control, Houston; at 82 hours, 59 minutes.
083:02:54 Anders (onboard): [Garble] stay 1 more minute.
083:03:01 Borman (onboard): I know it. Get going! I think this is a closed issue. Get to bed!
083:03:07 Borman (onboard): I don't care; get to bed!
083:03:09 Borman (onboard): No, you get to bed; get your ass to bed. You quit wasting one - one - I - I - I - I don't want to talk about it.
083:03:20 Borman (onboard): Shut up; go to sleep, both of you guys.
083:03:27 Borman (onboard): I'll just click it on when the time comes.
083:03:32 Borman (onboard): You should see your eyes; get to bed!
083:03:35 Borman (onboard): Don't worry about the exposure business, Goddamn it, Anders; get to bed! Right now! Come on!
083:05:05 Borman (onboard): I don't want [garble] All right. You want me to take some pictures? Get some sleep now. You've only got a couple hours, Bill, before we're going to have to be fresh again.
083:05:20 Borman (onboard): Yes. Okay. I'll take care of it all. All right. I just got up, remember? I slept for 4 hours.
083:05:34 Borman (onboard): No, I didn't.
083:05:40 Lovell (onboard): [Garble].
083:05:42 Borman (onboard): Yes. Go to sleep.
083:05:46 Borman (onboard): Houston already came back and said, "Fine."
083:05:52 Borman (onboard): Yes.
083:05:59 Borman (onboard): A quick snooze, and you guys will feel a hell of a lot better tomorrow.
083:06:45 Borman (onboard): Well, you're tired; it's not cold.
083:06:51 Lovell (onboard): Okay.
This is Apollo Control at 83 hours, 11 minutes. At the present time, Apollo 8 is nearing the end of it's seventh revolution. We've had Loss Of Signal now for about 16 minutes. Our displays here in Mission Control Center show that we should reacquire the spacecraft again in about 30 minutes. At the present time here in Mission Control Center, Flight Director Milton Windler is in the process of relieving Clifford Charlesworth, and our Capsule Communicator will be Ken Mattingly replacing Mike Collins in that position. Windler at present is going over the status of the spacecraft and the mission with his team of flight controllers. And as I said we will be reacquiring the spacecraft again in about 30 minutes. At the present time, all systems aboard the spacecraft look good, and as you heard in previous conversation shortly before we had Loss Of Signal, Lovell is sleeping at the present time, and the crew is modifying the Flight Plan to allow both Lovell and Anders to get some sleep or rest at least before the Trans-Earth Injection maneuver scheduled to occur at 89 hours, 15 minutes into the flight. At 83 hours, 12 minutes; this is Apollo Control, Houston."
This is Apollo Control, Houston, at 83 hours, 41 minutes into the mission. We're standing by at this time to reacquire the spacecraft as it comes over the lunar horizon on it's eighth revolution. Here in Mission Control Center, Flight Director Milton Windler and his team of flight controllers are becoming busily involved in becoming prepared for the Trans-Earth Injection burn, scheduled to occur at 89 hours, 15 minutes. Particularly, the flight dynamics people down in the front of the Control Center. They are, of course, the gentlemen who will be coming up with the information needed by the crew for the maneuver, and they are very heavily involved in that at the present time. We'll stand by for Capsule Communicator Ken Mattingly to put in a call to the crew as we reacquire at the signal now at about 1 or 2 seconds.
083:42:18 Borman: Houston, Apollo 8.
083:42:21 Mattingly: Apollo 8, loud and clear.
083:42:24 Borman: Roger.
Very long comm break.
083:43:22 Borman (onboard): Fine, I'm fine.
This is Apollo Control. During this pass on the eighth revolution across the front side of the Moon, we expect to begin passing up some information to the crew relevant to that Trans-Earth Injection maneuver. We do anticipate that both Lovell and Anders will be resting at this time. Shortly before we lost to the spacecraft, on the previous revolution, Borman advised us that Lovell was sleeping, and he said that he had removed a number of items from the Flight Plan in order that both Jim Lovell and Bill Anders would be able to get some rest before this Trans-Earth Injection maneuver. We'll continue to monitor here and anticipate that we will be having some conversation with Borman shortly.
This is Apollo Control at 83 hours, 54 minutes. We just put in a call to the spacecraft. Conversation with them at this time and we will pick that up for you at this time.
083:53:44 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Houston.
083:53:49 Borman: Go ahead, Houston. Apollo 8.
083:53:51 Mattingly: Roger, Apollo 8. Couple of notes for you: on the P52 you are coming up to on this rev, we've looked at your state vectors and all your information. The platform looks good, and it appears that it is your option if you would like to bypass this P52; your platform will still be good at the following TEI pass. And we would like to have your PRD reading and I guess we are behind the sleep summary, over.
083:54:28 Borman: Okay. Well, Jim and Bill are both resting now. I had about 3 or 4 hours earlier today.
083:54:41 Mattingly: Roger. Copy. [Pause.]
083:54:47 Borman: And this PRD now reads 144.
083:54:50 Mattingly: Copy, 144. And we have an update ready to go into your computer for the state vector if you want to go to P00 and Accept.
083:55:07 Borman: P00 and Accept.
083:55:09 Mattingly: Thank you.
Long comm break.
This is Houston. We're continuing to stand by here for further conversation. At the present time, the spacecraft is transmitting back to us with their omni antennas and there will be about 12 or 13 minutes before we bring on the High Gain. At that point, we would expect that the noise level would drop off somewhat. We are also here in Mission Control going ahead with the TV circuits - calling up those circuits and maintaining on the assumption that we will have TV transmission at the scheduled time, and that is 85 hours, 40 minutes Ground Elapsed Time. At the beginning we have not had confirmation of that from the crew, and as you heard earlier, Borman indicated that he would be deleting some items from the Flight Plan. However, the feeling at the present time here in the Mission Control Center is that the television transmission will occur on schedule unless we are advised otherwise by the crew. We'll continue to monitor here for a short while. If we don't pick up some conversation, we'll take the circuit down and pick up again when we are in contact with the crew.
083:59:52 Borman: Now, we are standing by to copy the TEI-9 PAD. [Long pause.]
084:00:14 Mattingly: Okay, Apollo 8, we have completed with the computer. You can use the Verb 47 to transfer and I have the TEI-9 PAD.
084:00:26 Borman: That's Ken, isn't it? Just a minute and I'll take care of it.
084:00:30 Mattingly: Roger. [Long pause.]
084:01:08 Borman: Okay, I went to P00 and then Verb 47, and I'm ready to copy.
084:01:12 Mattingly: Okay. Do you have it in Block?
084:01:17 Borman: Say again.
084:01:18 Mattingly: I say, do you have the Up Telemetry in Block?
084:01:2X Borman (onboard): It's in Block.
084:01:24 Borman: Roger.
084:01:26 Mattingly: Okay. This PAD is a TEI-9; SPS/G&N; 45597; minus 0.40, plus 1.57, 087:19:18.20; plus 3418.8, minus 0135.3, plus 0078.0; 180, 008, 001; November Alpha, plus 0018.7; 3422.3, 3:13, 34021; 42, 089.8, 25.3; 033, down 13.1, left 2.8; plus 07.58, minus 165.00; 1298.7, 36277, 146:48:16; primary star, Sirius; secondary, Rigel; 129, 155, 010; 4 quads, 15 second ullage; horizon's on 1.2-degree window line at T minus 3; use high speed procedure with minus Mike Alpha. After looking at the burn information from your previous SPS burns, it appears that the engine performance should give us a 3-second burn time longer than what you have on the PAD. The PAD number should correspond with what you get out of the computer. So we have not factored this into the past data; however, you can anticipate the engine for a normal Delta-V to give you a 3-second - 3.7-second burn in excess of the computed times. Over.
The 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.
There are four additional notes given in the PAD. An ullage burn of 15 seconds should be made by all four RCS quads to settle the contents of the half-empty SPS tanks prior to the burn. This is to minimise the chance of helium gas being ingested into the engine when it ignites. The Moon's horizon should be lined up on the rendezvous window's 1.2° line at three minutes prior to ignition. They would use a high-speed procedure with -MA (major axis) in the sums. They have noticed that the SPS engine is very slightly underperforming compared to their expectations to the crew should expect this TEI burn, if carried out, to be 3.7 seconds longer than given in the PAD.
084:05:52 Borman: Roger. Thank you.
084:06:02 Borman: TEI-9; SPS/G&N; 45597; minus 0.40, plus 1.57; 087:19:18.20; plus 3418.8, minus 0135.3, plus 0078.0; 180, 008, 001; N/A, plus 0018.7; 3422.3, 3:13, 3402.1; 42, 089.8, 25.3; 033, down 13.1, left 2.8; plus 07.58, minus 165.00; 1298.7, plus - or 36277, 146:48:16; and that's Sirus and Rigel; 129, 155, 010; 4 jet, 15 seconds; 1.2-degrees on the window at T minus 3, high speed minus MA, engine 3.7 seconds longer than given.
084:07:11 Mattingly: That's affirmative, Apollo 8. And when you get around to it, if you would like for us to dump your tape, we can do that when you get on High Gain.
084:07:25 Borman: Roger. [Long pause.]
084:08:06 Borman: Okay. Should have it on the High Gain now, Houston.
084:08:10 Mattingly: Roger. And we're going to go ahead and dump the tape.
084:08:20 Borman: Roger. [Long pause.]
084:08:42 Borman: Ken, will we get the real TEI PAD the next time around now? [Pause.]
084:09:04 Mattingly: Apollo 8, we'll have one for you the next time around, and we'll update it if necessary on the following rev.
084:09:14: Okay.
Comm break.
At present time the spacecraft is crossing over the Sea of Tranquility, and it's approaching the terminator, the point at which it will go into darkness - actually not total darkness - that would be the area of the Moon that would be lighted by Earthshine, and from previous reports - Stand by. We have a call from the crew.
084:11:34 Borman: Houston, Apollo 8.
084:11:36 Mattingly: Go ahead.
084:11:40 Borman: Do you have any idea why quad B seems so much lower in quantity than the other three quads?
084:11:47 Mattingly: Stand by.
Long comm break.
084:15:48 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Houston.
084:15:52 Borman: Go ahead.
084:15:54 Mattingly: Okay. It looks to us like, although we're reading out the same thing you are on the quad quantity, using the computer program and all of the correction factors that are in there, it looks like all four of your quads are very close. In pounds, it looks like you have, for example. 193 pounds in quad A and 189 in B, 200 in C, and 190 in Delta. And the difference that you read on the gauge is attributed to the fact that you don't have all of the correction factors in there. This ground calculation has an accuracy of about plus or minus 6 percent and the best you can do onboard, even using your chart, is plus or minus 10 percent. Over.
084:16:44 Borman: Thank you.
Long comm break.
This is Apollo Control at 84 hours, 18 minutes. At this point, we have passed all of the information that Flight Director, Milton Windler wanted to get to the crew on this pass, on the 8th revolution, and we anticipate that any further conversation with the spacecraft before we lose signal in about 36 minutes, will be initiated by the crew. We'll continue to monitor and pick up the conversation as it develops. At the present time, it appears that Frank Borman is the active crewman. Lovell and Anders, we expect, are getting some rest at this time in preparation for the busy schedule they're going to have during the Trans-Earth Injection maneuver."
This is Apollo Control, Houston. We've had one very brief conversation with the crew since our previous report, and we'll pick that up and come up live with conversation that is developing at this time.
084:24:35 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Houston. The tape recorder is back to you.
084:24:42 Borman: Thank you.
Comm break.
084:25:20 Lovell (onboard): Hey, Bill, [garble] aspirin.
084:25:24 Borman (onboard): You got a headache?
084:25:28 Borman (onboard): Hey, you don't have to tell them about aspirin. I told Berry [garble]; just the other two.
084:25:39 Borman (onboard): Yes, you ought to be good and tired, too.
084:26:28 Borman (onboard): There's a magazine floating around. Can you grab that please, Jim?
084:26:47 Borman (onboard): Huh? It's for you to sleep.
084:26:51 Borman (onboard): Hey, this little radiometer that I got is up to 124 now. What's yours reading?
084:26:54 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Houston.
084:27:00 Borman: Go ahead.
084:27:02 Mattingly: Okay, we've just finished looking at all your systems and all the trajectory information, and you have the Go for another rev.
084:27:13 Borman: Thank you. [Long pause.]
084:27:14 Borman (onboard): Do what? Yes.
084:27:41 Borman: I understand we're Go for rev 9.
084:27:47 Mattingly: That's affirmative, 8.
Comm break.
084:27:52 Borman (onboard): I feel - I - Listen, I'll be the first to tell you I had enough sense; I went down and crapped out before.
084:29:01 Borman: How's the weather down there, Ken?
084:29:03 Mattingly: It's really beautiful; loud and clear, and just right in temperature.
084:29:12 Borman: How about the recovery area?
084:29:14 Mattingly: That's looking real good.
084:29:19 Borman: Very good.
084:29:24 Mattingly: Yeah. They told us that there is a beautiful Moon out there.
084:29:32 Borman: Now, I was just saying that there's a beautiful Earth out there.
084:29:36 Mattingly: It depends on your point of view.
084:29:40 Borman: Yeah. [Long pause.]
084:29:55 Borman (onboard): Almost...
084:29:54 Mattingly: If you're looking for things to do up there, Frank, you might hit that biomed switch over to the left position.
084:30:02 Borman: Okay. [Long pause.]
084:30:42 Borman: Are you ready?
084:30:44 Mattingly: All set.
084:30:46 Borman: 5, 4, 3 [hears Mattingly] - Say again.
084:30:53 Mattingly: We've got the computers waiting.
084:30:55 Borman: Ken, are you ready? 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.
084:31:00 Borman: Mark.
Comm break.
084:33:37 Borman (onboard): How do you read me on Omni A, Ken?
Based on that count from Frank Borman aboard the spacecraft, we've concluded here in Mission Control, we have about a 3-second delay from the time the signal is sent until we receive it here.
084:34:07 Borman: Houston, Apollo 8. How do you read?
084:34:09 Mattingly: I'm reading you weak, but clear, Frank.
084:34:16 Borman: How about this antenna? Is that any better?
084:34:18 Mattingly: It's a little louder.
084:34:26 Borman: Okay.
Long comm break.
084:34:35 Borman (onboard): [Whistling.
084:35:04 Lovell (onboard): [Garbled.] align [garble]?
084:35:06 Borman (onboard): We didn't have to do one, Jim. No, they said that they'd checked it, and it looked real good, and they'd let you sleep.
This is Apollo Control. At the present time, we seem to be getting a fair amount of noise on the circuit. We'll stand by to pick up conversations again should they develop and take the circuit down at this time.
084:39:45 Borman: Hey, Ken, how'd you pull a duty on Satur - on Christmas Eve? You know, it happens to bachelors every time, doesn't it?
084:39:52 Mattingly: I wouldn't be anywhere else tonight.
Comm break.
084:39:55 Borman (onboard): Ha, ha.
084:42:08 Borman: Ken, how's the MSFN tracking on this lunar orbit coming out? [Long pause.]
084:42:27 Mattingly: Okay. Frank, it's looking like it's coming right down the pike. It's doing just what it is supposed to, and apparently, all our computer programs have got the right numbers in them because they're predicting where you're going.
084:42:42 Borman: Have they covered any of these anomalies due to hard spots [mascons]?
084:42:48 Mattingly: Rog. They're detectable, but they're not changing things enough to be anything more than - of interest.
084:42:58 Borman: Fine. Hope they are as good with the corridor as they were with the LOI. That was beautiful.
084:43:03 Mattingly: It sure was. That's - that's is textbook all the way.
Comm break.
084:44:24 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Houston.
084:43:29 Borman: Go ahead.
084:44:31 Mattingly: Okay. We're about - inside 10 minutes till LOS We'll be picking you up again at 85:40, and we'll have all of the TV types information standing by. In the event that the situation develops again for pointing accuracies, if I see anything that looks like a terminator or anything of that nature, I'm going to call the dark side of it 12 o'clock, and use that as a reference system, and we'll try that. If that doesn't dope out any problems with camera pointing, why I may try - call for a plus pitch and then I'll just correct what I see to account for it.
084:45:16 Borman: Roger. We're not going to use that telephoto lens. I don't believe we'll be able to get a picture of the Earth. It's going to have to be the terminator, the lunar surface. I'm looking at the Earth right now; and we won't see it again during that period.
084:45:31 Mattingly: Okay. Real fine then. And next time around, why, we'll take an extra special look at all of the parameters; we'll have our TEI PAD for you. And we'll use the last rev for a real good hack on all the systems. I'll give you a run down by system of all things we see, and where they stand.
084:45:55 Borman: Okay, fine.
Long comm break.
This is Apollo Control, Houston; at 84 hours, 47 minutes into the flight. We've just reviewed with Frank Borman the procedures and plans we have for our television pass coming up on the next revolution, and we'll ... continue to follow for any live communications with the spacecraft.
084:50:15 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Houston. We're approaching 4 minutes to LOS. All systems are Go.
084:50:25 Borman: Roger. Thank you.
Very long comm break.
Part of the transmission on that last conversation was a little bit difficult to copy. We were able to copy Borman saying that he would not be able to get pictures of the Earth on this TV pass coming up on our next revolution. And he indicated that he did not plan to attempt to use the telephoto lens. The estimation here in Mission Control Center is that he will not be in a proper attitude to get a shot out the window of Earth, and therefore would not be using the telephoto lens. We're now 2 minutes, 35 seconds away from Loss Of Signal from the spacecraft. We'll reacquire again about 46 minutes after we lose contact. At 84 hours, 52 minutes into the flight, this is Apollo Control.
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