Apollo Flight Journal logo
Previous Index
Day 6: The Green Team Journal Home Page

Apollo 8

Day 6: The Maroon Team - Splashdown

Corrected Transcript and Commentary Copyright © 2004-2021 by W. David Woods and Frank O'Brien. All rights reserved.
Last updated 2021-02-27
This is Apollo Control at 139 hours, 15 minutes. At the present time, Apollo 8 is at an altitude of 51,198 nautical miles [94,819 km] and our velocity is 8,698 feet per second [2,651 m/s]. ...
139:19:04 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Houston.
139:19:09 Anders: Go ahead, Houston.
139:19:13 Mattingly: Apollo 8, we'd like to have you, before you get in a P52 going here, we'd like to have you re-zero the optics and read us the mechanical CDUs. We're trying to collect a little data for troubleshooting.
139:19:29 Anders: Roger. Stand by.
139:19:31 Mattingly: Thank you. [Long pause.]
139:19:45 Anders: What's the trouble you're trying to troubleshoot?
139:19:51 Mattingly: This goes back to some of the problems we had prior to LOI; trying to see if the software readouts we're getting down here compare with the mechanical readouts. It's not a current problem as far as we know.
139:20:08 Anders: Okay.
Comm break.
139:21:27 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Houston.
139:21:31 Anders: Go ahead, Houston.
139:21:33 Mattingly: Okay. Why don't you just read me the mechanical CDUs there now, and then it looks from the ground like you're clear to go ahead with the P52.
139:21:44 Anders: Okay. We'll get the navigator squared away here in just a minute.
139:21:51 Lovell: Good morning, Captain.
139:21:53 Mattingly: Good morning, sir.
139:21:57 Lovell: This'll be a P52 out of a deep sleep. Okay, stand by one. [Long pause.]
139:22:17 Lovell: The trunnion mechanical CDU looks like it's reading about one one-hundredth.
139:22:25 Mattingly: Roger. [Long pause.]
139:22:52 Lovell: And the shaft mechanical C - OCDU looks like it's reading about four hundredth below zero, which would be about, what, 364. Yeah.
139:23:12 Mattingly: Understand, Jim. That's four hundredth below zero on the shaft; is that affirm?
139:23:17 Lovell: Yes. Stand by one. [Pause.] About 35996 on [garble].
139:23:27 Mattingly: Okay. Thank you. You can go ahead with P52 now.
139:23:35 Lovell: Okay.
Comm break.
139:25:36 Anders: I always said he did better in his sleep. [Long pause.]
139:26:28 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Houston.
139:26:32 Anders: Go ahead, Houston.
139:26:34 Mattingly: Okay. It looks like we're getting down on the Service Module RCS to the place where we ought to go ahead and activate the secondary Service Module RCS propellant.
139:26:48 Anders: Okay. Stand by.
Comm break.
139:28:30 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Houston.
139:28:34 Anders: Go ahead.
139:28:36 Mattingly: Okay. We've got a new PTC attitude. For the pitch, 180; and the yaw, 315.
139:28:45 Anders: Roger. Yaw, 315.
139:28:48 Mattingly: Roger. And pitch, 180.
139:28:52 Anders: Okay. [Pause.]
139:28:57 Anders: Could you pick one a little further away? [Pause.]
139:29:02 Mattingly: Not in our normal sphere. [Long pause.]
139:29:48 Lovell: Ken, this is Jim.
139:29:51 Mattingly: Go ahead.
139:29:52 Lovell: Aren't we still a little high on the quantity side to activate the secondary?
139:30:01 Mattingly: Negative. We have - let's see, we have quad Bravo and quad Delta which are getting right down, according to the calculated numbers, next to where we ought to be activating them. The numbers you're reading are going to be a little bit high, but the computer data on the ground shows that you have about 134 pounds in Bravo and Delta, and about 130 pounds is where you ought to be on the secondary.
139:30:33 Lovell: Okay. Roger. We'll activate the secondary and turn off the primary.
139:30:40 Mattingly: Okay. It's just to keep you from running one of them up.
139:30:44 Lovell: Rog.
Comm break.
139:31:54 Lovell: Secondary activated.
139:31:57 Mattingly: Roger.
Very long comm break.
Apollo Control here at 139 hours, 52 minutes; and a good, good morning from the maroon team. We're 48,000 [nautical] miles [89,000 km] from home, moving at nearly 9,000 feet per second [2,750 m/s]. And in the last half hour we have had these bits and pieces of conversation with the crew. Among other items of interest, Jim Lovell awakened, which you may already know. He awakened a little bit earlier than his planned seven-hour sleep period; he was awake at least a half an hour ago. ...
140:28:11 Borman: Hello Houston, Apollo 8.
140:28:14 Mattingly: Go ahead.
140:28:17 Borman: Ken, on this maneuver, MCC-7, are you going to - are we going to burn the PAD data that we got sometime ago, or is there a new maneuver coming up, or what's going on in that regard? [Pause.]
140:28:35 Mattingly: Okay, Apollo 8. If required, we'll give you a new one. Right now, we are looking at not making a maneuver burn at all.
140:28:46 Borman: You're saying we may not even have that one now?
140:28:48 Mattingly: That's right. [Long pause.]
140:29:04 Borman: Okay. You're the boss.
Comm break.
140:31:03 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Houston. [No answer.]
Comm break.
140:32:57 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Houston. [No answer.]
140:33:11 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Houston. Could you try another omni? [No answer.]
140:33:37 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Houston. Try another omni, please. [No answer.]
140:34:22 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Houston. [No answer.]
Comm break.
140:35:47 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Houston.
140:35:50 Borman: Go ahead, Houston. Apollo 8.
140:35:52 Mattingly: Okay. Read you loud and clear now. Just wanted to remind you that in the event of a loss of comm, we don't want you to burn MCC-7. Your present entry PAD is good. We'll be updating your landing point at the same time that you would have gotten MCC-7, and I'd like to have a crew status report from you when it's convenient. [Long pause.]
140:36:38 Borman: Okay, Ken. I understand now, if we would lose comm, you do not want us to burn MCC-7, just go ahead and use the entry PAD that you've given us?
140:36:46 Mattingly: That's affirmative. You'll be within 0.06 degrees of your entry angle target line.
140:36:54 Borman: All right. The crew status is, everybody has gotten real good rest last night, and everybody's in good shape. Jim is just waking up, Bill's starting the initial stowage, and we're - we all feel very well.
140:37:12 Mattingly: Okay. [Pause.]
140:37:17 Mattingly: Okay. And we'd like to - guess we need a PRD reading from you. And we'll be needing one in the neighborhood of 145-hour period, somewhere when it's convenient in there again.
Long comm break.
This is Apollo Control, Houston; 140 hours, 40 minutes into the flight and we just had a chat with the crew which was significant in two respects. They were advised that we would not have another midcourse. None was necessary. And we heard from Frank Borman that the crew was up now, alert and awake, and Frank said they had a real good night's rest. And they are all set for the re-entry. ...
140:45:20 Borman: Houston, Apollo 8.
140:45:24 Mattingly: Go ahead, 8. [No answer.]
140:45:41 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Apollo 8, Houston. Go ahead.
140:45:45 Borman: Roger. Could you give us our range - correction, our velocity and range from the Earth now?
140:45:50 Mattingly: Stand by.
Comm break.
140:46:59 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Apollo 8, Houston. At time 51, your velocity will be 9,526, altitude 42,946. Over.
140:47:14 Borman: Thank you.
Very long comm break.
Apollo Control, Houston; at 140 hours, 55 minutes into the flight. And before we get all wrapped up in the entry process, why don't we take a final look at our onboard system quantity readings? Our cabin pressure remains, as it has now for some days, at 4.9 pounds per square inch [33.8 kPa]; cabin temperature, 78 degrees [F, 26°C]. The amount of waste water on board right now is 69.5 percent of the tank capacity or 38.9 pounds [17.6 kg]. The potable drinking water quantity remains as it has throughout most of the mission at slightly over 100 percent, it is constantly being refilled from the fuel cell production. The potable quantity in pounds is 37.3 pounds [16.9 kg]. And the temperature of the water dump nozzle is 65 degrees Fahrenheit [18°C]. Now in the oxygen area, tank 1 has 59 percent of its oxygen supply remaining, and tank 2 has 59.5 percent. And the hydrogen area; the number on tank 1 is 40.4 percent, tank 2, 42.5 percent. As we dial up further displays, we will give you that information. And pilot biomed harnesses, we are not taking information right now apparently, (we) have turned that system down for the duration of the mission. And we are still searching here, stand by one. For your information, we are 42,293 [nautical] miles [78,327 km] away from Earth now, and velocity has built up to 9,600 feet per second [2,926 m/s]. To convert that to statute miles per hour, you multiply by 0.68. The oxygen flow is running at 0.3 pounds [0.14 kg] per hour. Point 3 pounds per hour. The fuel cell status still load sharing very nicely. Fuel cell 1 carrying 33.1 percent; fuel cell 2, 32.2; fuel cell 3, about 34 percent; all very steady values, no problems at all on our fuel cells during the flight. ...
This is Apollo Control, Houston here at 141 hours, 29 minutes. It's been at least a half an hour since we've heard from the crew but no concern here. Things are very quiet obviously in the spacecraft, They're very quiet here in the Control Center. I suppose the two most active areas are the recovery forces. They're working very hard to make sure the adequacy of their communications circuits. They're running almost constant checks. And the retro people, who work very hard over this final entry into atmosphere maneuver. And all the members associated with it - they're working and comparing and talking to each other at a brisk pace. Other than that, it is all quiet at 141 hours and 30 minutes.
141:33:43 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Houston. You call? [No answer.]
141:34:17 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Apollo 8. Did you call?
141:34:22 Borman: Negative, this is Apollo 8. We did not call you.
141:34:25 Mattingly: Okay. Thank you.
141:34:29 Borman: Roger.
Long comm break.
141:41:31 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Houston.
141:41:34 Borman: Go ahead, Houston. Apollo 8.
141:41:37 Mattingly: Okay. I've got some weather and recovery force status and a couple of last minute items to run down any time it's convenient for you.
141:41:47 Borman: All right. It's convenient right now.
141:41:50 Mattingly: Okay. For the mid-Pacific, the general condition is good. You can expect cloud bases 2,000 foot scattered, visibility 10 miles, wind 070 at 12, wave heights 4 feet, altimeter 2974. [Long pause.]
141:42:26 Mattingly: Sunrise will be 17:10 Zulu, and first light, 16:49 Zulu. The recovery forces: ship will be Yorktown; the aircraft will be Airboss number 1 and 2, and Recoveries 1, 2, and 3. [Pause.] The estimated time to a target point: the ship is - Yorktown is on the target point; Airboss aircraft, 15 minutes and will be on-scene commander. Recoveries 1, 2, and 3 are SH3 Alphas, and they go with the Yorktown, so they're at the target point. All of them have swimmers aboard. If the recovery aircraft do not hear from the spacecraft, they'll go ahead and put swimmers in the water, and if you're in good shape and give them a call, they may hold off on dropping swimmers until sunrise.
141:43:45 Borman: Roger. Say again the sunrise and first light time for me, would you, please?
141:43:53 Mattingly: Say again, 8. [Long pause.]
141:44:23 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Houston. Notice the rather large middle gimbal angle. Over.
If the middle gimbal angle becomes too large, the gimbal system may become 'locked'; i.e. two of the three axes around which the gimbals turn will approach lining up. The nearer they get to each other, the more difficult it is to drive the motors that maintain platform alignment. There comes a point when the platform loses its intended alignment.
141:44:32 Borman: Thank you. [Pause.]
141:44:38 Borman: Would you say again the daylight time, please; sunrise, and first light.
141:44:44 Mattingly: Okay. Sunrise is 17:10 Zulu, and the first light is 16:49 Zulu. [Pause.]
141:45:01 Borman: Thank you.
Comm break.
141:46:05 Mattingly: Okay. Looking over the weather I gave you was the 2,000 foot scattered at the target point may have a 6,000 foot broken layer above that. At the max lift point, you have about the same thing, and altimeter is the same down the range. As you go further to the east, the weather should improve slightly; there's no problem with thunderstorms or rain showers in any of your recovery area.
141:46:42 Borman: Very good; thank you. [Pause.]
141:46:51 Mattingly: The items that we still need will be a PRD reading as late as you can do it conveniently prior to a final stowage. And we don't have any numbers on the last crew sleep period. I'd like to verify that the secondary RCS was activated on all four quads. And I have about five comments on the entry checklist procedures to verify.
141:47:24 Borman: It was activated on all four quads; that's correct. Our final stowage is completed. We'll read out the PR - we'll read out the PRDs for you now.
141:47:35 Mattingly: All right. Thank you.
141:47:40 Borman: The LMP's reads 0.64; I believe it's been that way throughout the flight. [Pause.] CMP's reads 0.11, that's 1.11.
141:47:58 Mattingly: Roger.
141:48:02 Borman: Stand by a minute while we look at it closely. That's 0.11.
141:48:09 Mattingly: Roger. 0.11.
141:48:13 Borman: And the one I ended up with reads 3.10.
141:48:18 Mattingly: Okay. Thank you. [Long pause.]
141:48:37 Borman: Okay. Go ahead, Ken. What else do you want to talk about?
141:48:41 Mattingly: Okay. To make everybody happy, we can use an estimate of the number of hours sleep the people got.
141:48:50 Borman: Oh. Okay, sorry.
141:48:52 Borman: Just a minute, I'll give you that; I forgot.
141:48:55 Mattingly: Thank you.
141:48:57 Borman: Bill Anders got about 5 hours, [Pause.] and Jim Lovell got about five, and I got about five and a half or six.
141:49:09 Mattingly: Sounds good.
141:49:10 Borman: Right.
141:49:11 Mattingly: Okay. We went through an exercise with the mockup on the pre-entry preparations, and we noticed that in the LMP's checklist on page S-12, when you go to top off the repress bottles, I believe it's a misprint; it should read the PLSS fill valve rather than the Repress valve, and we should be going to the fill position as opposed to going to On.
141:49:47 Borman: Roger. That's what we do.
141:49:51 Mattingly: Okay. And on - go ahead. [Pause.]
141:50:01 Borman: Go ahead. We agree that's what we do.
141:50:04 Mattingly: Okay. On page E-7 of the entry checklist and under step 34, as long as you have panel 382 open, that's a convenient time to go ahead and have the evaporator water controls, both primary and secondary, to Auto, and the suit heat exchanger for the secondary glycol to Flow.
141:50:27 Borman: Those items are already accomplished.
141:50:27 Mattingly: Very good. On page E-9, when you're getting ready to transfer the RCS to the Command Module position, if you want to avoid having the engines fire as a result of attitude correction, you might want to take the manual attitude switches to Accel Command or Minimum Impulse. And again on E-9 Alpha at step 41 Bravo, if you want to go back to attitude hold, bring the manual attitude switches back to Rate. [Pause.]
141:51:13 Borman: What was that last step?
141:51:15 Mattingly: Step 41 Bravo on page E-9 Alpha. It's if you decide to use either Minimum Impulse or Accel Command on page E-9, step 41 Bravo would be a good place to go back to Rate Command.
141:51:31 Borman: Okay. We do - that's how we do it.
141:51:35 Mattingly: Okay, fine. And...
141:51:37 Borman: I don't...
141:51:39 Borman: I didn't put all those control configurations changes in the checklist, but that's exactly what we do, use Minimum Impulse.
141:51:47 Mattingly: Okay. Real fine.
Long comm break.
This is Apollo Control, Houston, and everything seems to be proceeding very nicely. Ken Mattingly has been running through entry, pre-entry checklists with Frank Borman. We're content, so are they. At the news conference a little while ago, numbers were passed to the press based on a final maneuver of something on the order of one or two feet per second. As you know, we scrubbed it, there is no need for such a maneuver, and it has been terminated, but the fact that we are not going to have the maneuver matters almost not at all on the numbers. For instance, it changes the splash time by one second, so if you recorded numbers earlier, well, stick with those. ...
142:00:51 Borman: Houston, Apollo 8.
142:00:54 Mattingly: Go ahead, 8. [No answer.]
142:01:07 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Apollo 8. Go ahead.
142:01:11 Borman: I'd like to confirm one item on the PAD message, please.
142:01:15 Mattingly: Roger.
142:01:17 Borman: Time to retro - ah, drogues, reference your last time to drogues, please.
142:01:28 Mattingly: Okay. I'll check that one out.
142:01:31 Borman: And also, Ken, we're going to turn on our VHF now, about 4 hours before entry.
142:01:37 Mattingly: Real fine. Thank you. I'll let you know when we pick it up.
142:01:41 Borman: A Simplex.
142:01:42 Mattingly: Affirm.
142:01:52 Anders: Ah, we're listening on VHF now too, Ken.
Very long comm break.
This is Apollo Control, Houston. 142 hours, 3 minutes into the mission. A word or two on some of the congratulatory message traffic that we have experienced during this mission. I would call it unusually high. Probably associated with the general interest in the mission. The fact that it is the holiday season and more people have more time to express themselves. In general, far and away, the comments have been extremely laudatory, praiseworthy, and of course, there has been - as there always is, a very small but an extremely vocal minority who thinks we shouldn't have done the mission or if we should have, we shouldn't have done it over religious holidays. Still others have criticized any religious overtones that have crept into the mission. But perhaps, typical of the happier kinds of messages is one that was received here just a few hours ago simply from an anonymous well-wisher in Hornsby, New South Wales, Australia. It reads, 'Happy landing Apollo 8 astronauts.' At 142 hours, 4 minutes into the flight, this is Apollo Control Houston.
142:17:33 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Houston.
142:17:35 Borman: Go ahead, Houston.
142:17:37 Mattingly: Okay. We have checked into your drogue time, and the number of 08:16 on your entry PAD is correct. We'll be giving you an updated entry PAD on the scheduled time of 143:30. At the same time, we'll be giving you an update of your state vectors for the LM and CSM.
142:18:01 Borman: Okay.
142:18:02 Mattingly: The midcourse correction number 7 was less than seven-tenths foot per second, and we will not execute it.
142:18:11 Borman: Very good.
142:18:12 Mattingly: You have a - You have a P52 scheduled at 143:30 which is not required. Your option. However, if you decide to delete the P52, the CMC self-check and DSKY condition light test are still requirements. Over.
142:18:32 Borman: What - what do you mean, they're still requirements? We weren't planning to do the CMC self-test. [Long pause.]
142:18:53 Borman: On that DSKY check, for goodness sake, that's...
Comm break.
Frank's tone, usually very dry and matter-of-fact, exhibits some impatience with what he's hearing.
142:21:07 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Houston. That's my mistake on the CMC self-check and DSKY condition light. That's an optional test. Over.
142:21:16 Borman: That's what we thought, Ken. Gosh, that's been working perfectly for 6 days, I don't - I don't see any reason to test it.
142:21:24 Mattingly: I agree.
142:21:26 Borman: Thank you. [Pause.]
142:21:36 Lovell: Morning, Ken. How's Houston this morning?
142:21:39 Mattingly: Just fine. Nice and balmy.
142:21:44 Lovell: Good.
Very long comm break.
142:51:28 Anders: Houston, Apollo 8. Over.
142:51:31 Mattingly: Go ahead, Apollo 8. [No answer.]
142:51:45 Mattingly: Apollo 8, go ahead.
142:51:49 Anders: I am just - It is my understanding that we are to bring up the secondary loop at 1 hour prior to Sep, isn't that right?
142:51:54 Mattingly: That is affirmative, about page Echo-9. [Pause.]
142:52:10 Anders: Okay. [Pause.]
142:52:16 Mattingly: And Bill, [garble] suggested if we have the water boiler going on the primary loop, that you - you might wait about 5 minutes or so before you initiate the secondary loop.
142:52:38 Anders: Wait 5 minutes from what? From the time the primary loop starts or from 1 hour?
142:52:43 Mattingly: From the time the primary loop starts; this will give you a check to see if it had a chance to dry out or not.
142:53:04 Anders: Oh, I am with you. Okay.
142:53:09 Mattingly: And for your information, we already have a VHF downlink. It's poor quality, but we do have contact.
142:53:22 Anders: Okay. We haven't turned anything over to VHF yet.
142:53:25 Mattingly: Okay.
142:53:27 Anders: We tried to call you on the VHF though, Ken.
142:53:30 Mattingly: Roger. I say, the quality is pretty poor; they may not be able to understand you.
142:53:36 Anders: Roger.
Long comm break.
142:56:59 Borman: Houston, Apollo 8. Over.
142:57:01 Mattingly: Go ahead, Apollo 8. [No answer.]
142:57:14 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Houston. Go ahead.
142:57:17 Anders: Ken, we got two things going here which make this suit heat exchanger flow a little different. One of them is we're not doing a cold-soak, and the other one is we're powering down the secondary loop prior to Sep. And I wonder if it's a good idea to have the suit heat exchanger only on a secondary loop in that case. And plus the fact that we haven't got any cabin heat exchanger.
142:57:45 Mattingly: I don't think that was the intent, Bill. What they had in mind, we'd have both loops - have the suit heat exchanger on both loops; and if they got too cold, you could use the panel switching to shut down the primary loop through the heat exchanger. But in any event, you'd always have something going to the suit heat exchanger. I recognize that we are going to be shutting down the secondary heat exchanger pre-Sep and then turning it back on prior to entry, but the idea was to have both primary and secondary loops on the suit heat exchanger simultaneously.
142:58:24 Anders: Yeah, my checklist doesn't reflect that, but I think that's a good idea since we're a little suspect of our cabin fans and don't plan to use them.
142:58:31 Mattingly: Rog.
Long comm break.
This is Apollo Control Houston here 142 hours, 59 minutes into the flight. And the velocity increase we are seeing is now becoming dramatic. We are up to 11,298 feet per second [3,444 m/s] and it is really building. We are 30,424 [nautical] miles [56,345 km] from home. Here is the conversation with the crew.
143:01:54 Anders: Houston, Apollo 8. Over.
143:01:58 Mattingly: Go ahead, 8. [No answer.]
143:02:08 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Apollo 8. Go ahead.
143:02:12 Anders: Roger. What's Rod's estimate of our post-separation main bus voltage?
Very long comm break.
This is Apollo Control, Houston. ... And to amplify one remark I think you heard Bill Anders say, he would try to call on VHF and - if it was received, it was badly garbled. If I recall correctly, on the way out, and they were quite a way from the Earth, we - they heard us broadcasting on VHF out to about 22,000 [nautical] miles [41,000 km]. Just about the reverse situation here, where it is slightly more than 29,000 [nautical] miles [54,000 km] out. At 143 hours, 4 minutes into the flight, this is Apollo Control, Houston.
143:12:41 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Houston. [We will] be making a handover from Carnarvon to Honeysuckle at 15.
143:12:50 Borman: Roger.
Long comm break.
143:16:16 Anders: Houston, Apollo 8. Over.
143:16:19 Mattingly: Apollo 8, go ahead.
143:16:24 Anders: I'm still a little bit confused on this - activate the secondary loop. You indicated inactivating it at 1 hour or 5 minutes after the primary evaporator comes on the line. My checklist shows that the primary evaporator probably won't come on the line until we bypass the radiators. Have you got something else in mind that I don't know about? [Pause.]
143:16:56 Mattingly: Okay, Bill. We passed up an update some time back on page E-9, step 38, right at the beginning; and you've got a final GET drift check. And then between there and the - and the step 39 where it says terminate CM RCS preheat, that was the place we wanted to activate the primary loop by putting the glycol evaporator water switch to Auto and the glycol evaporator steam pressure to Auto. [Long pause.]
143:17:41 Anders: Roger. I don't expect it to boil, though. Do you?
143:17:45 Mattingly: Okay, Bill. We're hoping that it will there. It looks like we'll have had a stable attitude for some time, and we anticipate that it will be warm enough to make it boil. That is the reason it's suggested if it is boiling, that you wait. If it isn't, go ahead and turn on the secondary loop.
143:18:04 Anders: Okay. Well, that's where I was confused. I am waking up. Thank you.
143:18:08 Mattingly: Yes, sir.
Comm break.
143:20:06 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Houston.
143:20:09 Anders: Go ahead, Houston.
143:20:11 Mattingly: Okay, Apollo 8. We would like to update your LM state vector, CSM state vector, and target point. And if it's convenient now, why, we'll go ahead and do that if you'll go to P00 and Accept. [Pause.]
143:20:27 Anders: Roger. P00 and Accept.
Long comm break.
143:29:20 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Houston.
143:29:22 Borman: Go ahead, Houston. Apollo 8.
143:29:25 Mattingly: Okay. The loads are in and verified, and the computer is yours.
143:29:29 Anders: Thank you.
143:29:30 Mattingly: [You can] take it back to Block, and for Bill's information, latest guess on the main bus post-Sep voltage to 27.5 [volts].
143:29:41 Anders: Guess! [Pause.] You mean the EECOMs are guessing? [Pause.]
143:29:57 Anders: At least, they're honest for a change.
143:30:02 Mattingly: That's more than you can say for the computers.
143:30:06 Anders: Or the crew.
Long comm break.
Apollo Control, Houston; at 143 hours, 36 minutes into the flight. And we have been chatting more with Bill Anders primarily on how things look. The spacecraft is now 26,458 [nautical] miles from Earth [49,000 km], moving in a velocity of 12,075 feet per second [3,680 m/s]. The weight of the spacecraft is 31,600 pounds [14,300 kg]. Now that weight will change dramatically 15 minutes before we reach the 400,000-foot mark when the Service Module leaves us and it will go from 31,600 down to about 12,000 pounds [5,400 kg] and will hold close to that on in. ...
143:36:40 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Houston. [No answer.]
143:37:00 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Houston.
143:37:03 Anders: Go ahead, Houston. Apollo 8.
143:37:05 Mattingly: Okay, 8. We have an entry PAD for you.
143:37:10 Anders: Good. Just a minute. [Long pause.]
143:37:33 Anders: Ready to copy, Houston.
143:37:38 Mattingly: Okay. This will be the mid-Pacific; 357, 152, 359; 146:29:00; 268, plus 08.13, minus 165.03; 065, 36221, 645, 12122, 36301, 14646, 14, 0028. The next block is November Alpha: VO 400 02 12 0025 0334 08 14 16 0590 312; Zeta Persei, up 16.5, right 3.4, up. Use non-exit EMS pattern, GDC align; primary star Sirius, secondary Rigel; roll, 308; pitch, 209; yaw, 357; this entry will not involve P65. Over. [Pause.]
143:40:25 Lovell: Houston, Apollo 8. Entry PAD as follows: mid-Pacific; 357, 152, 359; 146:29:00; 268, plus 08.13, minus 165.03; 065 36221 645 12122 36301 146:46:14 0028, next block not applicable, 400 0212 0025 0334 0814 16059 312, Zeta Persei, up 16.5, right 3.5 up, use non-exit EMS pattern, backup alignment; Sirius, Rigel, roll 308, pitch 209, yaw 357, and we won't see P65.
143:41:37 Mattingly: Okay, Apollo 8. I would like to verify sextant star shaft 0590, and the boresight star.
143:41:49 Lovell: Roger.
143:41:50 Mattingly: The last one is right 3.4. Over.
143:41:56 Lovell: Roger. Boresight star is right 3.4. And I have the sextant shaft; that's 0590.
143:42:03 Mattingly: That's correct, Apollo 8.
Very long comm break.
This entry PAD is preliminary and will be updated in 90 minutes time. As with all PADs, there is a very strict format associated with it. Both astronauts on the ground and in the spacecraft are using a form that contains all the necessary details for interpreting the numbers.
Before interpreting the PAD, it may be useful to explain some of the terminology used. The first important concept is that of Entry Interface, a completely arbitrary event which is defined as the time when the spacecraft (then consisting of only the Command Module) reaches an altitude of 400,000 feet (65.83 nautical miles, 121.92 km). Being arbitrary, it is not subject to the vagaries of the atmosphere and allows calculations to be made with respect to the spacecraft's current state vector.
A second concept is the 0.05g event. This is the point at which the increasing drag of the atmosphere's outer fringes cause a deceleration measuring a twentieth of a g. For calculation sake, prior to entry actually occurring, it is taken to occur at an altitude of 297,432 feet (48.95 nautical miles, 90.66 km) but it will occur when the spacecraft's guidance system detects a change in velocity of 0.49 m/s2 (0.05g). It triggers a change in the entry program run by the computer and also begins the monitoring of the trajectory by the EMS (Entry Monitoring System).
Note that some events in the PAD are tied to the Entry Interface event, others to the 0.05g event. The data passed up for this entry PAD are interpreted as follows: The next four items are not applicable to this version of the Entry PAD as they are only concerned with profiles that exit the atmosphere for a short period.
The PAD includes a comment about which part of the EMS scroll to use. The EMS scroll has two patterns, one each for the two different types of entries the spacecraft can make. Apollo 8 is to use the version suited to their non-exiting type of re-entry. The final note reiterates that this will not be an exiting re-entry since P65 controls the start of that exit and is not being used.
Apollo Control here, and that brings us up to the point where we are now. For those newsmen watching the projection on monitors in our MSC Auditorium news area, you'll be able to see very shortly the spacecraft do a long loop-the-loop kind of maneuver against a flat map such as we are viewing. The maneuver will be quite similar to that that we saw the other day after the TLI burn when we did a big loop before we started tracing a steady flight path away from the Earth. Of course, we are going to see this morning the mirror image of that maneuver, only in this case it will be performed almost directly over India. The spacecraft is now looking down on the southern tip of India. It is directly over Ceylon, and it will, for Earth-mapping purposes, seem to proceed in a northwesterly direction. As it prepares to make its entry, lines up for its entry PAD back to Earth and the Pacific Ocean. We are 25,309 [nautical] miles [46,872 km] away from the spacecraft and it is moving at 12,328 feet per second [3,758 m/s]. At 143 hours, 47 minutes; this is Apollo Control, Houston.
143:59:37 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Houston. [No answer.]
143:59:50 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Apollo 8, Houston.
143:59:56 Lovell: Go ahead, Houston.
143:59:58 Mattingly: Okay, Apollo 8. Can you tell us if you've done anything with your potable water? We've noticed our readout has gone from 100 percent down to 56 in the last couple of minutes. [Pause.]
144:00:17 Lovell: We're reading about 50 percent right now.
144:00:22 Mattingly: Roger. That correlates with what we see. Have you done anything to change configuration? Over. [Long pause.]
144:00:44 Lovell: Yeah, we noticed we're venting here, too, Houston. [Long pause.]
144:01:10 Mattingly: Jim, did you mean you could visually see it?
144:01:14 Lovell: Yeah, we're - oh, stand by, Ken. Bill just dumped urine, so that might have been urine we were seeing. [Long pause.]
144:01:45 Lovell: Bill just shut the potable inlet, Ken.
144:01:48 Mattingly: Okay. Thank you.
Comm break.
144:04:44 Lovell: Houston, Apollo 8.
144:04:47 Mattingly: Go ahead, 8. [No answer.]
144:04:58 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Apollo 8, go ahead.
144:05:01 Lovell: Roger, Houston. We're still showing about 52 percent here, and we had our switch on waste so we don't know whether it dropped from a higher value or not. Has yours been stabilized now?
144:05:15 Mattingly: That's affirmative; ours has stabilized now. And it was reading full just a few minutes ago.
144:05:25 Lovell: Roger. I don't think - we can't account for any sudden drop in water.
144:05:31 Mattingly: Okay. We looked in the malfunction procedures, in number 28. And [it] doesn't reveal anything very startling.
144:05:42 Lovell: Bill's looking there now.
Long comm break.
This is Apollo Control, Houston; at 144 hours, 8 minutes into the flight. And things are continuing to rock along. In the last few minutes, we had a little surprise here with a not-yet-completely-explained water dump. We chatted with the crew about it and, apparently, Bill Anders had dumped some waste matter, some urine overboard earlier, which he had collected for a while. We still don't completely understand it. We're talking a little about this ...
144:08:53 Anders: Houston, Apollo 8. Over.
144:08:57 Mattingly: Go ahead, 8.
144:09:00 Anders: Okay. I'm looking at malfunction 28, and it takes you to box 6, but I don't really think that's the problem because the waste tank quantity hadn't changed any. Over.
144:09:11 Mattingly: Okay. I concur. We're watching the same thing.
144:09:15 Anders: Look, we don't care about the potable tank, but we do about the waste tank, so I'm just gonna - just in case there is a problem somewhere, I'm going to shut the potable tank off and leave the waste tank inlet valve open. How's that sound to you?
144:09:29 Mattingly: Stand by. [Pause.] Okay, 8. We concur.
144:09:37 Anders: If I see any water floating around, I'll give you another call.
144:09:40 Mattingly: Alright. Thank you.
Long comm break.
So much for our water situation. That's apparently been laid to rest now. As Anders said, it's not really a problem. Just not immediately explainable so he turned off the potable tank. There are two tanks here; the potable tank - the drinking water, and the waste water tank. He had vented the waste water tank to some degree but apparently had not - they saw some kind of action on the potable meters. In any case, it's been adjusted. Our present distance is 22,276 nautical miles [41,255 km] from Earth. This puts the spacecraft at the synchronous orbital altitude and it will now begin to sink its direction in relation to our lunar map. In other words, it will start flying in the direction of the turn of the Earth. Or, at least, it will appear to us down here on Earth to do that. The spacecraft, in fact, is a fixed point in inertial space, just as the Earth is. For mapping purposes, it will appear to turn from approximately this point forward. Our velocity is 13,102 feet per second [3,993 m/s]. At 144 hours, 13 minutes; this is Apollo Control, Houston.
144:18:30 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Houston. Radio check. [No answer.]
144:18:47 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Apollo 8. Radio check.
144:18:51 Lovell: Read you loud and clear.
144:18:53 Mattingly: Roger. We had a momentary loss of comm on the ground then. Read you loud and clear.
Long comm break.
144:25:28 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Houston. [No answer.]
Comm break.
144:27:13 Borman: Houston, Apollo 8. Did you call?
144:27:17 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Houston. You're loud and clear. We've taken a look at this water...
144:27:23 Borman: Houston, Apollo 8.
144:27:27 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Apollo 8, Houston. Read you loud and clear. We've taken a look at your potable water quantity problem, and it appears to be a transducer problem. Suggest that you leave the potable tank isolated. You have sufficient water in the waste tank to continue the entry. Over.
144:27:48 Borman: Roger. Thank you, Houston. [Pause.]
144:27:58 Anders: Does that mean we're Go for entry? [Long pause.]
144:28:21 Borman: Houston, Apollo 8.
144:28:24 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Apollo 8, go ahead.
144:28:27 Borman: Roger. Is our thermal stability good enough we can leave the PTC attitude and go to entry gimbal angles now?
Long comm break.
144:32:03 Borman: Houston, how do you read? Apollo 8.
144:32:06 Mattingly: Read you loud and clear, Apollo 8, and we're checking on the PTC problem now. [Pause.]
144:32:19 Mattingly: Apollo 8: Houston. You're cleared with entry attitude at this time.
144:32:23 Borman: Okay. Fine. Thank you.
Very long comm break.
Apollo Control, Houston; at 144 hours, 38 minutes into the flight. Apollo 8 is 19,000 [nautical] miles [35,188 km] from the Earth; it's moving at 14,029 feet per second [4,276 m/s]. Present combined weight of the Command Module and Service Module is 31,600 miles [means pounds, 14,300 kg]. ...
144:46:22 Mattingly: Houston voice. Go to voice 925.
Very long comm break.
Apollo Control, Houston. ... We look good all across the board. People at the Control Center are beginning to fill up now with official observers, officials of the program. The 70-seat viewing-room immediately behind this Control Center is about - about half filled right now, and within the next hour, I imagine we will see it filled to overflowing, which it has been during every critical event of this mission. At 144 hours, 41 minutes; this is Apollo Control, Houston.
144:56:46 Anders: Houston, Apollo 8. Over.
144:56:51 Mattingly: Apollo 8, loud and clear. Go. [No answer.]
144:57:00 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Apollo 8. Go ahead.
144:57:05 Anders: Roger. We've completed the checklist down to the 1-hour point, and we'll stand by for 1 hour.
144:57:14 Mattingly: Roger. [Long pause.]
144:57:44 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Apollo 8, Houston.
144:57:49 Lovell: Go ahead, Houston.
144:57:52 Mattingly: Just for information, did you folks end up having to use any Command Module RCS heaters?
144:57:59 Lovell: Negative. All our indicators are pegged either high or at 5 volt.
144:58:06 Mattingly: Okay. Thank you. [Long pause.]
144:58:28 Comm Tech: Carnarvon, Network GOSS conference voice check. How do you read?
144:58:36 Comm Tech: Network, Carnarvon. Read you weak but clear.
144:58:41 Comm Tech: Roger, Carnarvon. I read you loud and clear.
144:58:44 Comm Tech: You are loud and clear now. Thank you.
144:58:57 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Houston. Stand by for hand over to Carnarvon.
144:59:02 Anders: Roger.
Comm break.
Bill seems to be having fun as he mimics the plummy accents of the Australian communications technicians whose voices have found their way onto the air/ground loop.
145:02:05 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Houston.
145:02:09 Lovell: Go ahead. [Pause.]
145:02:16 Lovell: Go ahead, Houston.
145:02:19 Mattingly: Okay, Apollo 8. If you'll go to P00 and Accept, we'd like to update your LM and CSM state vectors. Over.
145:02:27 Lovell: Roger.
Long comm break.
145:06:18 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Houston. State vector load is complete. Verify the computer is yours. [Long pause.]
145:06:35 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Apollo 8, Houston. State vector load is complete; the computer is yours. [Pause.]
145:06:47 Borman: Roger, Houston. We're going to Block.
145:06:50 Mattingly: Roger.
Long comm break.
Apollo Control, Houston here; and the spacecraft is now a mere 15,256 [nautical] miles [28,254 km] from the face of the Earth. Its velocity is almost a match in feet per second; 15,459 feet per second [4,712 m/s]. Its weight; 31,600 pounds [14,300 kg]. The Service Module of approximately 20,000 pounds [9,000 kg] will be jettisoned abruptly at 15 minutes before we reach the 80-mile high - the 400K - the 400,000-foot mark. At - one other mention, the viewing room as we said earlier is beginning to fill with visitors and among is Dr. Kurt Debus, director of the Kennedy Space Center, and his number one deputy for launch operations, Rocco Petrone, the gentleman who had so much to do with the departure of Apollo 8 from the - six - more than six days ago, they are here to watch it come back to Earth this morning. At 125 hours [means 145 hours], 09 minutes.
145:10:54 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Houston.
145:10:58 Lovell: Go ahead, Houston.
145:11:00 Mattingly: Okay. Two fast items: number one, it's been suggested that since Marezine takes some time to take effect, you might consider whether you'd be interested in taking some now. And I have an entry PAD which has some very small updates to go on it if you would like to copy that.
145:11:22 Borman: Okay. Stand by. Let me get out the entry PAD. [Long pause.]
145:11:38 Lovell: Okay. Go ahead with the entry PAD, Houston.
145:11:42 Mattingly: Okay. We're still going to the mid-Pacific; 357, 152, 359, 146:29:13, 267, plus 08.13, minus 165.03, 066, 36221, 647, 12166, 36301, 146:46:13, 0028, the next block is November Alpha, VO. 400, 0210, 0025, 0335, 0816, 160590, 312; Zeta Persei, up 16.5, right 34, up, non-exit EMS pattern; Sirius and Rigel; roll, 308; pitch, 209; yaw, 357; no P65 involved. Over. [Long pause.]
145:14:11 Lovell: Roger, Houston. Entry PAD as follows: mid-Pacific, 357, 152, 359; 146:29:13; 267, plus 08.13, minus 165.03, 066, 36221, 647, 12166, 36301, 146:46:13, 0028, N/A, 400, 0210, 0025, 0335, 0816, 160590, 312, Zeta Persei, up 16.5, right 3.4, up. Use non-exit EMS pattern; Sirius, Rigel, 308, 209, 357, no P65.
145:15:11 Mattingly: That's correct, Apollo 8. [Long pause.]
This is the final entry PAD for Apollo 8. It is interpreted as follows: The next four items are not applicable to this version of the Entry PAD as they are only concerned with profiles that exit the atmosphere for a short period.
The subsequent notes are the same as for the preliminary PAD. Apollo 8 is to use the EMS scroll pattern suited to their non-exiting type of re-entry. The final note reiterates that as this will not be an exiting re-entry, and since P65 controls the start of that exit, it is not being used.
145:15:46 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Houston. You're clear to initiate cabin cold-soak at your discretion. Over.
145:15:52 Lovell: Roger, Houston. We're starting that now.
Long comm break.
145:19:44 Mattingly: (Garbled) your mike is stuck.
145:19:46 Borman: You have a hot mike, Houston.
145:19:49 Mattingly: Roger.
Long comm break.
145:23:13 Anders: Houston, Apollo 8. Over.
145:23:17 Mattingly: Go ahead, 8.
145:23:19 Anders: Okay. It doesn't appear that we are going to be able to trigger the primary evaps, so I'm going to go ahead and start up the secondary loop. [Pause.]
145:23:34 Mattingly: Okay, Apollo 8. We concur.
Comm break.
145:26:43 Borman: Houston, Apollo 8.
145:26:46 Mattingly: Go ahead, 8. [No answer.]
145:26:58 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Apollo 8, go ahead.
145:27:01 Borman: Roger. Since we're going as smoothly as we are here - we've got good comm - let's start this pyro circuit check about 10 minutes early. What do you say? [Long pause.]
145:27:25 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Apollo 8. We can conduct the pyro check at any time.
145:27:31 Borman: Alright. Why don't we do it here just momentarily then?
145:27:36 Mattingly: Roger.
145:27:38 Borman: We'll give you a call when we're ready.
145:27:40 Mattingly: Roger. [Long pause.]
145:27:58 Borman: Houston, we're ready to proceed with the pyro circuit check.
145:28:04 Mattingly: Roger. Go ahead.
Comm break.
145:31:07 Borman: MSFN, are you monitoring the sequential test now? [Pause.]
145:31:15 Borman: Houston, Apollo 8. [Pause.]
145:31:23 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Apollo 8. That's affirmative. [Long pause.]
145:31:38 Borman: Hello, Houston. Apollo 8.
145:31:43 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Apollo 8. Loud and clear. Affirmative we are monitoring.
145:31:48 Borman: Okay. [Long pause.]
145:32:07 Anders: Standing by for Go and Pyro Arm.
145:32:13 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Apollo 8. You have a Go.
145:32:17 Anders: Roger.
Long comm break.
Apollo Control, Houston here at 145 hours, 32 minutes into the flight, and the trajectory of Apollo 8 is programmed against the - our flat wall map here - is carrying it on a path up the west coast of India. It will proceed northerly - northeasterly in a very few moments, and curve, and start in an easterly direction carrying it across China, perhaps before then it will see a little of the southern extremities of the Soviet Union, the Himalayas, China and then down across Guam. Present velocity is 17,272 feet per second [5,265 m/s]; the spacecraft is only 11,626 [nautical] miles [21,531 km] from the face of the Earth. A few minutes ago, Frank Borman called us and suggested he might entertain doing the pyro arm check a little early. It was considered here, we quite agree with him and we're all set to go on it. ...
145:41:41 Borman: Houston, this is Apollo 8; How's your tracking looking?
145:41:47 Mattingly: Looking great.
145:41:50 Borman: Okay. Everything went fine with the check. We're all armed and ready to go here.
145:41:55 Mattingly: Okay. If you're not doing anything else, how about let's make a VHF check.
145:42:02 Borman: Okay. I'll turn off my S-band; the other two will stay on S-band.
145:42:06 Mattingly: Roger. I'll give you a count in just a second. [Long pause.]
145:42:30 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Houston. Simultaneous VHF and S-band. Over.
145:42:37 Borman: Roger. I'm not reading you on VHF.
145:42:40 Mattingly: Rog. Stand by one. [Long pause.]
145:43:31 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Houston. Simultaneous VHF and S-band. Do you verify that you are on the left hand VHF antenna? Over. [Pause.]
145:43:48 Anders: We can verify the antenna, but we can't verify reading you on S-band or on VHF.
145:43:54 Mattingly: Okay. We're receiving some downlink, although it's considered to be poor quality.
Long comm break.
Apollo Control, Houston here at 145 hours, 45 minutes into the flight, All is continuing to operate quite satisfactorily. We tried a VHF check with the spacecraft a few minutes ago, and it didn't work out so well. Neither Carnarvon nor Guam picked up on VHF; that from about 10,000 miles out. We are now 9,600 [nautical] miles [17,800 km] from Earth. The velocity is up to 18,332 feet per second [5,588 m/s]. ... Some may be wondering what happens to the Service Module. Well, it is jettisoned at 15 minutes before we reach our Entry Interface or entry point. There is a preset burn of 90 feet per second [27 m/s] cranked into the Service Module and it departs from the Command Module at that rate. The burn continues for some period of time, exactly which period, I don't have in front of me; but at any case, the new trajectory of the Service Module carries it about 100 miles or more south of the track of the Command Module. It is not known exactly what will happen to the Service Module. Some people think it will come on down to an altitude of perhaps 300,000 or 400,000 feet, hit the thicker atmosphere and then bounce out into a sun-circling orbit. Others think it will be captured and will certainly burn up before any of its pieces reach the Pacific Ocean. We just can't predict at this point. We are certain it will be safely out of the way of Apollo 8. At 145 hours, 48 minutes; this is Apollo Control, Houston.
145:51:34 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Houston. We'd like to try the right VHF antenna, if you have time. [Pause.]
145:51:45 Anders: We're on ri - we're on right, Ken.
145:51:48 Mattingly: Okay. This is a simultaneous VHF and S-band transmission: one, two, three, four, five. How do you read on VHF? Over.
145:51:59 Lovell: Read you loud and clear.
145:52:03 Mattingly: Understand that's on VHF. Is that affirm? [Long pause.]
145:52:18 Borman: Houston, this is Apollo 8. I answered your call on VHF. Did you receive?
145:52:22 Mattingly: Okay. It's not piped back here. MOCR'll have to check and see if they have it on the ground station.
145:52:28 Borman: You were loud and clear, Ken.
145:52:30 Mattingly: Rog. Thank you. [Pause.]
145:52:37 Mattingly: Okay, Apollo 8. We received you loud and clear on VHF through Carnarvon. [Pause.]
145:52:45 Borman: Roger.
Long comm break.
145:57:21 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Houston. Stand by for handover from Carnarvon to Guam on the hour. We should have continuous contact except for the blackout period beginning at 146:51.
145:57:36 Borman: Roger.
Very long comm break.
This is Apollo Control, Houston; at 146 hours, 12 minutes into the flight. I think all of the consoles here have been reconfigured for this re-entry effort now. Probably the most noticeable item, leaving the consoles, are the lunar maps. They are being replaced by maps, which rested right under the lunar maps, which were simply projections of good old Earth. A few minutes ago, the crew checked some of the events that will take place in the re-entry process. ... Now the velocity acceleration pickup is quite dramatic. Our display here integrates a new value every 12 seconds, I believe. Let me give you a sample of how it is building; 23,303 feet per second [7,103 m/s] now; altitude, 4,950 [nautical] miles [9,167 km]. Still reading 23,353, 23,403. It has been stepping up here in these last few minutes in increments of 50 to 60 feet per second. For reference purposes, the peak velocity previously reached prior to this mission by a manned vehicle was the Gemini 11 spacecraft, at perigee after its high altitude burn, which was the other two altitude record as well, 740-odd miles. That velocity was 26,352 feet per second [8,032 m/s]. Today, we should, at the point of Entry Interface or the 80-mile mark, as we come back into the Earth, we should see a velocity on the order of 36,220 feet per second [11,040 km]. Converted to miles per hour, that is 24,530 miles per hour. And at 146 hours, 16 minutes, that is our status and this is Apollo Control, Houston.
Apollo Control, Houston here; 146 hours, 26 minutes. We have had no additional conversation since our last report from the crew, apparently they are all settled down in their couches waiting for the re-entry. The next major event will be the Command/Service Module separation which should occur about 5 minutes from now. The Capsule Communicator has just been advised to tell the crew that we are Go for that event. This, by the way, will be the fourth, this is the fourth manned flight to be returned to the Pacific area. And, coincidentally, all of the 8 series, Mercury 8, Gemini 8, and now Apollo 8 were brought back to the Pacific area. In addition, Mercury 9 landed off Hawaii. Here is some conversation; Ken Mattingly, our CapCom is talking to Bill Anders.
146:26:20 Anders: Houston, this is Apollo 8. We're go for Pyro Arm. [Long pause.]
146:26:37 Anders: Houston, Apollo 8. Do you read?
146:26:54 Lovell: Houston, Apollo 8. Confirm Go for Pyro Arm.
146:26:57 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Apollo 8, Houston. You are Go for Pyro Arm. [Long pause.]
146:27:13 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Apollo 8. You're Go for Pyro Arm. Everything's looking good.
146:27:18 Anders: Roger. Everything's looking good here, Ken.
Comm break.
Recovery is advising the Flight Director of their good status and has good weather out there. They are on station. The route of flight, in case you are not looking at a map, will be over northeast China, Peking, and over Tokyo, then we start a southeasterly slant. The ship Redstone is parked at 24 degrees north, 169 degrees east. The next listening point will be the ship Huntsville, tracking the ship 172 west, 12 degrees north, and the landing point just a few hundred miles southeast of there at 165 west, approximately 8 north. That point, by the way, is 600 miles northwest of Christmas Island, which I'm sure has been noted.
146:29:10 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Apollo 8. It appears that your primary evaporator may have dried out. If you get a chance, go ahead and give it a try to reservice. Over.
Comm break.
146:31:28 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Apollo 8. Ground data indicates the primary evaporator may have dried out. If you have a chance, you might try reservicing. Over.
146:31:38 Anders: Roger.
Comm break.
The crew has been advised that their primary evaporator has dried out, a fact that they couldn't care less about. They are about to say goodbye to that entire system and the Service module in another 2 minutes.
And the spacecraft is now - we see our systems here - show that they have gone to ring 2 - the Reaction Control System, the system looks quite good, it's operational at 200 pounds of propellant available in that system. It is a redundant system, A few of the events, as we plan to clock them here, the 400,000 foot point, which is that point when many of our events begin to happen, we call it, the area of reaching some little small amount of atmosphere, is to occur at 146 hours, 46 minutes. That blackout period should begin about 25 seconds later. The maximum heating point would be 146 hours, 47 minutes; and which occur at roughly 200,000 feet. And at this point, the roller-coaster type ride that the spacecraft will take will bend slightly upward for approximately 40,000, 50,000 feet, and then level off and begin its last plunge back. But as it hits the first breaking point at 180,000 feet, the max g force will be felt by the crew, of 6.8 g's. A second g spike of 4.2 will be noted about 4 or 5 minutes later. The total blackout we are predicting this morning is on the order of 3 minutes. Since we have very little experience re-entering at these velocities, we must caution you that those are only estimates.
146:32:51 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Apollo 8. Your secondary loop looks good.
146:32:56 Lovell: Roger, Houston.
Long comm break.
The Flight Director has confirmed the separation - separation of the Command Module and the Service Module. We have been looking at data on the Command Module alone and all the values look quite good. This is Apollo Control, Houston.
146:36:53 Anders (onboard): ROT Control Power Direct, both, Main A/Main B.
146:36:55 Lovell (onboard): Tape Recorder, you got that?
146:36:56 Anders (onboard): Roger. Horizon check.
146:36:58 Lovell (onboard): He's doing that now.
146:37:00 Anders (onboard): Pitch needle error goes toward zero approaching zero at 0.5g time.
146:37:03 Borman (onboard): Okay.
146:37:04 Lovell (onboard): Okay.
146:37:05 Anders (onboard): Don't forget Manual Attitude, three, to Rate Command.
146:37:07 Lovell (onboard): ... Command, that's right.
146:37:08 Borman (onboard): Yes. Okay, but tell me that later, okay?
146:37:09 Anders (onboard): Yes, right. Don't forget it.
146:37:10 Lovell (onboard): You've got to do it in checklist... as we go.
146:37:11 Borman (onboard): I've got to have that; just tell me later, okay?
146:37:13 Lovell (onboard): We're stopped right there.
146:37:14 Borman (onboard): How's your evaporator?
146:37:15 Anders (onboard): It's - it seems to be hanging in there, but it's awfully low steam pressure. I'll - I'll manually feed it if I have to.
146:37:20 Borman (onboard): Alright.
146:37:28 Borman (onboard): See where this baby wants me to fly? The pitch is way up.
146:37:33 Lovell (onboard): See if [garble] of the alpha meter.
146:37:35 Borman (onboard): Now, as we come close to the horizon we're going to [garble].
146:37:38 Lovell (onboard): [Garble].
146:37:40 Borman (onboard): As we come closer to the...
146:37:44 Lovell (onboard): Yes. This thing came in long before. I thought it was going to at 45 degrees, where 152 is the nominal entry attitude.
146:37:54 Borman (onboard): Boy, it did come in wrong, didn't it?
146:37:59 Lovell (onboard): Sure. See, I was waiting for that thing to come in. I didn't think it would come in until about 200 degrees.
146:38:01 Borman (onboard): How come we came in so soon?
146:38:03 Lovell (onboard): I don't know.
146:38:07 Anders (onboard): Okay, evaporator's Go.
146:38:08 Lovell (onboard): Good.
146:38:10 Anders (onboard): I'm pretty sure.
146:38:12 Borman (onboard): I keep wanting to yaw off the right here; It must be because we're boiling.
146:38:17 Anders (onboard): We're really boiling.
146:38:22 Lovell (onboard): Okay, all - We're standing by now - You've got Manual Attitude, three, Rate Command when you get time. That's - We're down to there, and we are going to have a CMC Go or No-Go check. We've got two things to do: either the DAP's No-Go, which we'll find out when he flies it; If the CMC is No-Go, he'll fly the EMS.
146:38:36 Anders (onboard): You got the 0.05g and EMS Roll, On.
146:38:41 Borman (onboard): And that's an 0.05 change.
146:34:43 Lovell (onboard): That's right.
146:38:44 Anders (onboard): Okay, it looks like we got the evaporator.
146:38:53 Lovell (onboard): How's that needle doing?
146:38:56 Borman (onboard): Fine.
146:38:58 Lovell (onboard): The horizon hard to find?
146:38:59 Borman (onboard): No.
146:39:13 Borman (onboard): I wish you'd keep checking my yaw for me there, will you?
146:39:15 Lovell (onboard): I will. You're a little bit left now, or a little right - Go left, just a little bit.
Apollo Control, Houston here. We continue to look good on all sources. We - in 11 minutes from now, we will be at the 400,000-foot mark and the velocity of the crew at this point will be 36,220 feet per second, we estimate. That converts to 24,530 (statute) miles per hour, which is nearly, is more than 500 miles per hour faster than the crew was moving only 2½ days ago (means 6 days) at Translunar Injection. Their burnout speed at that point 180 miles above the Earth was 35,556 feet per second or 24,080 miles per hour. Today, as we come back to that point, after all the maneuvering and all of the burning at 180 miles above the Earth, we will see a velocity of 35,644 feet per second and still building up down to this value at 400,000 feet. These are estimates and will be refined based on post-flight data, but they are good estimates at this point. All in all a very quiet re-entry up to this point. This is Apollo Control, Houston. We will continue to monitor.
146:39:20 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Houston. Looking good; both primary and secondary loops look good. [Long pause.]
146:39:24 Anders (onboard): I think you're slightly rolled - Roll right. Frank.
146:39:28 Borman (onboard): I don't care about the rolls.
146:39:31 Borman (onboard): Okay. We don't need any of that, Houston.
146:39:46 Lovell (onboard): Okay.
146:39:50 Lovell (onboard): Keep the horizon right there.
146:39:52 Mattingly: Apollo 8, through the Redstone. You're looking good; both primary and secondary loops are holding good. [Long pause.]
146:40:00 Anders (onboard): Roger; looks like we got it reserviced.
146:40:07 Anders (onboard): And we've got a good horizon.
146:40:11 Anders (onboard): Looks like you are yawing to the left or something.
146:40:13 Borman (onboard): No.
146:40:14 Lovell (onboard): He's just about on, Bill.
146:40:15 Borman (onboard): I've got two separate sources in here that tell me my yaw's zero don't I? Actually, I can just fly those needles, now.
146:40:26 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Apollo 8, through Redstone. Over.
This is Apollo Control here. We have put in a call through the Redstone.
146:40:32 Anders: Go ahead, Houston. It's Apollo 8.
146:40:34 Mattingly: Rog. Read you loud and clear. You're looking good.
146:40:39 Borman: Roger.
Long comm break.
And they were advised by Ken Mattingly that they were looking good. They certainly are. The cabin pressure is 4.9 pounds per square inch, the cabin temperature is down a little bit, purposely, so it's down to 61. Most of the flight it ran between 77 and 78 degrees. We're estimating that the crew is still head down and tracking the horizon visually out their rendezvous - out the windows, any handy window, and letting the G&N system do its work. At 146 hours, 42 minutes; this is Apollo Control, Houston.
146:40:44 Borman (onboard): The control harmony is not too good in this. You get a lot more pitch than you do yaw and roll.
146:40:49 Anders (onboard): Hey there, you're yawing my way.
146:40:50 Borman (onboard): Look who's coming there, would you?
146:40:52 Anders (onboard): Yes.
146:40:53 Borman (onboard): You see it?
146:40:54 Anders (onboard): Yes.
146:40:55 Borman (onboard): Just like they promised.
146:40:56 Lovell (onboard): What?
146:40:57 Borman (onboard): (LMP?) The Moon.
146:40:58 Lovell (onboard): Oh.
146:40:59 Borman (onboard): At 6 minutes before, just like it says.
146:41:01 Lovell (onboard): Okay. RRT is 46:13, we're 41:03.
146:41:06 Anders (onboard): Are you still Min Imp, Frank?
146:41:07 Borman (onboard): Yes.
146:43:08 Lovell (onboard): That's right.
146:41:09 Anders (onboard): Okay.
146:41:11 Lovell (onboard): That's where we stop, Man Attitude, three, Rate Command.
146:41:21 Borman (onboard): Well, I'm going to give her to the DAP anyway when we get down.
146:41:24 Lovell (onboard): As soon as you see that needle starts going off the peg, huh?
146:41:26 Borman (onboard): Yes.
146:41:27 Lovell (onboard): Yes, I would, too. Better see what she does.
146:41:36 Borman (onboard): Make sure the BMAG's are not changed - they're not. It'll be [garble] If they are.
146:41:48 Borman (onboard): Well, men, we're getting close.
146:41:54 Anders (onboard): There's no turning back now.
146:41:57 Lovell (onboard): Old mother Earth has us.
146:42:00 Anders (onboard): We may end up losing our horizon here when that Moon goes down.
146:42:05 Lovell (onboard): That's probably what makes your horizon so good is the Moon background - before it rose.
146:42:11 Anders (onboard): I wonder if [sounds like Dimlight Dunkleman] would like me to do a little airglow photography right now?
In the Apollo 15 Lunar Surface Journal, Dave Scott mentions an astronomer who helped to teach the Apollo crews about the night skies. He said, "We had an astronomer named Dunkleman, 'Dim-Light' Dunkleman."
146:42:13 Borman (onboard): Yes.
146:42:20 Borman (onboard): Check - double check both balls for me, Jim, so...
146:42:22 Lovell (onboard): Yes, you're okay.
146:42:24 Borman (onboard): We're not just reading one ball, okay?
146:42:25 Lovell (onboard): Yes, this ball's agreeing with that one.
146:42:30 Lovell (onboard): Well, we're 42:30...
146:42:31 Borman (onboard): Check your other (RCS) ring, just for sure, Jim.
146:42:39 Borman (onboard): There goes a washer; can you grab it?
146:42:41 Lovell (onboard): Yes, I've been trying to get that washer...
146:42:42 Borman (onboard): ...Well, It a too late now.
146:42:43 Lovell (onboard): Well 42:02 and 46:13. We're at 42:47, 46:32
146:42:49 Borman (onboard): We're getting close to 0.05g, too.
146:43:09 Borman (onboard): Now's the - how high's the voltage?
146:43:11 Anders (onboard): Voltage is great; 28 volts.
146:43:15 Borman (onboard): Okay.
146:43:22 Lovell (onboard): Okay, 152 will be the entry PAD. Pitch?
146:43:27 Anders (onboard): Okay. You're about to lose your Moon.
146:43:32 Lovell (onboard): Okay, your yaw's looking good.
146:43:37 Anders (onboard): Got a lot of lightning down there, so you - you'll probably have something.
146:43:42 Borman (onboard): I got the old - Bill never saw that.
146:10:44 Anders (onboard): What is that?
146:43:45 Borman (onboard): Oh, did you notice? That's the haze level.
146:43:47 Anders (onboard): Airglow?
146:43:48 Borman (onboard): Airglow.
146:43:49 Borman (onboard): Good old airglow is what's...
146:43:51 Anders (onboard): I'll look at the airglow next time.
146:43:53 Lovell (onboard): That's right, you've never seen the airglow. Take a look at it.
146:43:59 Borman (onboard): You can't get your [astronaut] pin without seeing the airglow.
146:44:00 Lovell (onboard): That's right.
146:44:01 Anders (onboard): I see it! I see it! [Laughter.]
146:44:04 Anders (onboard): Let's see, is this where I'm supposed to ask how many g's, Lovell?
146:44:07 Lovell (onboard): That's right [laughter], you ask how many g's.
146:44:09 Borman (onboard): How are we doing?
146:44:10 Anders (onboard): We're doing good over here.
146:44:11 Lovell (onboard): Okay in the middle.
146:44:13 Lovell (onboard): 44:13; We're 2 minutes away from RRT.
146:44:30 Borman (onboard): Now that horizon's getting harder to find.
146:44:38 Lovell (onboard): You're within 30 degrees of - of the attitude.
146:44:41 Borman (onboard): How do you know?
146:44:42 Lovell (onboard): Well, 152 is it, and you're coming up on it now.
146:44:45 Anders (onboard): It's getting a, little hazy out here; does that mean anything - every time you fire a thruster.
146:44:50 Borman (onboard): We're starting to get some reflection off the Earth, I guess.
146:45:08 Anders (onboard): Did anybody ever see the service module?
146:45:10 Borman (onboard): Yes - No, excuse me.
146:45:12 Lovell (onboard): Okay, your needle's coming up.
146:45:14 Borman (onboard): Okay.
146:45:15 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Houston. One minute to RRT.
146:45:20 Borman: Roger.
Borman (onboard): Rate Command.
Long comm break.
146:45:19 Lovell (onboard): Ready; 1, 2, 3, Rate Command
146:45:21 Borman (onboard): Rate Command
146:45:22 Lovell (onboard): Okay.
146:45:24 Lovell (onboard): The CMC in Auto?
146:45:25 Borman (onboard): I'm going there now, but - Now the CMC has got us.
146:55:29 Lovell (onboard): Okay.
146:16:32 Anders (onboard): Okay, the pitch error is approaching zero?
146:45:35 Lovell (onboard): Is the DAP Go?
146:45:36 Borman (onboard): DAP seems to be going.
146:45:37 Anders (onboard): Okay - -
146:45:38 Borman (onboard): Did you check out the horizon?
146:45:40 Anders (onboard): Manual Attitude, three, Rate Command?
146:45:41 Borman (onboard): Rate Command.
146:45:42 Lovell (onboard): You've got the checklist again, Bill.
146:45:43 Anders (onboard): You got it?
146:45:44 Borman (onboard): Yes.
146:45:45 Lovell (onboard): Yes.
146:45:46 Anders (onboard): BMAG, three, RATE 2.
146:45:47 Borman (onboard): RATE 2.
146:45:48 Anders (onboard): CMC in Auto.
146:45:49 Borman (onboard): CMC in Auto; Well, you don't need Auto, but I'll put it there and make everybody happy.
146:45:54 Lovell (onboard): Okay, 0.05g is at 46:41...
146:45:57 Anders (onboard): You call 0.05g, Jim.
146:45:58 Lovell (onboard): I'll call 0.05 - I'll tell you when the g starts going...
146:46:00 Borman (onboard): I've got to start this thing automatic - manually, if you don't give it to me, Jim.
146:46:02 Lovell (onboard): Okay.
146:46:03 Borman (onboard): ...so be sure you call it.
146:46:05 Lovell (onboard): At 0.05g time, right?
146:46:07 Borman (onboard): Yes. God, it is hazy out there, isn't it? That's a different lighting effect. I think.
146:46:14 Anders (onboard): That's sunrise.
146:46:16 Borman (onboard): Huh?
146:46:17 Lovell (onboard): Yes, that's the Sun...
146:46:18 Anders (onboard): Oh, here we go.
146:46:19 Lovell (onboard): 146:46:20; we should have 0.05g's.
146:46:22 Borman (onboard): That's the airglow we are starting to get; that's what it is, gentlemen.
146:46:25 Lovell (onboard): Yes.
146:46:26 Lovell (onboard): One - okay, we got the...
146:46:28 Borman (onboard): God damn, this is going to be a real ride; hang on.
146:46:29 Lovell (onboard): [Garble].
146:46:30 Borman (onboard): I've never seen it this bright before.
146:46:32 Lovell (onboard): Yes. Like you were going...
146:46:33 Borman (onboard): You got 0.05g yet?
146:46:35 Lovell (onboard): ...0.02, stand by; 38, 39, 40, 41
146:46:41 Lovell (onboard): 0.05g!
146:46:42 Borman (onboard): 0.05g!
146:46:43 Anders (onboard): Okay, we got it!
146:46:44 Lovell (onboard): Put the EMS, On.
146:46:45 Borman (onboard): Hang on!
146:46:46 Anders (onboard): 0.05g switch, On.
146:46:47 Lovell (onboard): 0.05g Roll to EMS.
At the point that 0.05g is sensed, the EMS scroll is activated. The scroll moves from right to left and is driven by the velocity value as sensed by the EMS's own accelerometer. Therefore the horizontal axis of the scroll is calibrated in feet per second. Its vertical axis is g-force. Thus, as they slow, they can monitor how their spacecraft is decelerating in relation to their decreasing velocity.
Apollo 8 EMS scroll
The Apollo 8 EMS scroll including the trace, kindly provided by Dr. Roger Clark.
Points to note are the initial fast rise in their deceleration on the left. This then backs off to a more or less constant g-force through most of the remaining deceleration. The features on the left, at 33.5 and 34.7, are system glitches. The right-hand side has the deployment of the parachutes.
146:46:48 Borman (onboard): Right. Okay, gang.
146:46:53 Lovell (onboard): They're building up.
146:46:59 Borman (onboard): Call out the g's.
146:47:03 Lovell (onboard): We're 1 g.
146:47:19 Lovell (onboard): Ohhh!
146:47:21 Borman (onboard): Okay
146:47:23 Lovell (onboard): 5!
146:47:41 Lovell (onboard): 6!
146:47:53 Lovell (onboard): 4!
146:48:01 Lovell (onboard): She's doing a great job.
146:48:06 Lovell (onboard): Vcircular at 48:23.
146:48:24 Borman (onboard): Vcircular
146:48:26 Anders (onboard): Cabin temperature is still holding real good.
146:48:33 Lovell (onboard): VI's still high. Okay, we're [Program] 67.
The comm control will be handed over from the Redstone to the Huntsville, and we have lost signal, our network controller says we lost signal at 146:46 minutes and with very nearly 46 seconds. And our estimate is that this blackout period will continue - oh, let's see, three minutes and right about now the crew should be getting the spike, the G spike that they will see just under 7 Gs. We would estimate they are down to the 180,000 foot point, flattening out and actually beginning to ascend slightly. They should be - their heat rate will dramatically recede but they will still maintain a large heat load, nearly 5,000 degrees out on the leading edge of the heat shield. Flight Director notes that he hears a keying coming, as in Morse code keying and he is wondering as to the source of it.
146 hours, 48 minutes. And our curves put the spacecraft down about 35 to 36 miles above the Earth and elevating it slightly, perhaps up to 40.
146:48:44 Borman: Good point, too. [Long pause.]
146:49:07 Anders (onboard): Quite a ride, huh?
146:49:13 Borman (onboard): Damndest thing I ever saw.
146:49:15 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Houston. Radio check. [Long pause.]
146:49:16 Borman (onboard): Gemini was never like that, was it, Jim?
146:49:19 Lovell (onboard): No, it was a little faster than this one.
146:49:27 Anders (onboard): I assure you I've never seen anything like it.
146:49:32 Anders (onboard): Cabin temperature's holding real good - up 1 degree.
146:49:43 Anders (onboard): Primary evaporator's crapped out; secondary's still working.
146:49:43 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Houston through Huntsville. Over.
146:49:51 Lovell (onboard): Coming up at 2g's.
146:49:56 Anders (onboard): Temperature's coming up in the primary loop okay.
146:50:05 Comm tech (Huntsville): Houston, Huntsville. We have not established contact with the spacecraft at this time.
146:50:10 Borman (onboard): Nice job there, gang.
146:50:15 Mattingly: Roger. Thank you, Huntsville.
146:50:16 Lovell (onboard): Drogues at - You got then there? 8:16.
146:50:23 Borman (onboard): That's 58:16?
146:50:27 Borman (onboard): No, that's not right. 54 ...right.
146:50:46 Anders (onboard): It's a real glow. I can see our gegenschein.
146:50:51 Borman (onboard): Second pulse coming up.
146:50:55 SC (onboard): [Cough.]
146:50:58 Comm tech (Huntsville): Huntsville, AOS through S-band. [Pause.] Houston, Huntsville. Stand by. No contact.
146:51:08 Anders (onboard): How much will this one go up, do you think?
146:51:11 Lovell (onboard): 3!
146:51:11 Mattingly: Roger.
Comm break.
Ken Mattingly just put in a call and just frankly labeled it a radio check. He has gotten no response as yet. And Ken tries a second call through the Huntsville. Our estimates say that the crew, along about now should be emerging. The Huntsville advises they have not established contact with the spacecraft at this time. About three and a half minutes since we went into the blacked out area. And now the Huntsville is handing over communication checks - communications authority to one of the range aircraft, they called in AIRA. And the Huntsville - the Huntsville says they have acquired an S-band signal, at 51 minutes, 04 seconds; and they immediately called back and said no contact, they negate that first announcement.
146:51:29 Lovell (onboard): Okay, we should have comm.
146:51:32 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Apollo 8, this is Houston through ARIA.
146:51:32 Borman (onboard): Give them a call.
146:51:34 Lovell (onboard): Houston, Apollo 8. Over.
146:51:36 Unknown speaker, may be Lovell's call: [Garble.]
146:51:39 Mattingly: Say again, 8. [Pause.]
146:51:47 Borman: Houston, Apollo 8. Over.
146:51:50 Mattingly: Go ahead, Apollo 8. Read you broken and loud.
146:51:51 Borman: Roger; this is a real fireball. It's looking good.
146:51:53 Borman (onboard): Come on, John Glenn.
146:51:56 Mattingly: Outstanding! [Long pause.]
146:52:06 Borman (onboard): Don't let me forget those - boost entry.
146:52:09 Anders (onboard): Roger; I got you.
146:52:10 Lovell (onboard): Okay.
146:52:11 Borman (onboard): It's almost all over but the shouting now, men.
One of the recovery helicopters reported seeing something, but those kind of reports at these critical moments are not unusual. Ken Mattingly puts in another call and there is Jim Lovell. He says, 'We are looking good.' I can't tell whether it's Borman or Lovell. Let's try to cut it in.
146:52:15 Borman: We're in real good shape, Houston.
146:52:17 Mattingly: Real fine. [Long pause.]
Now one of the range ships is reporting a radar contact. The first communication was extremely broken up, but the two words that did come through were 'looking good'. Another one of the flight controllers here in the control center heard the crew mention, something like 'a real fire ball'. We estimate here we are about one minute to drogue deploy.
146:52:18 Lovell (onboard): I think he's going to take Paul Haney's job. [Laughter.]
146:52:20 Anders (onboard): [Laughter.] My mother was worried.
146:52:25 Anders (onboard): A little smell in here.
146:52:27 Anders (onboard): Don't go to boost entry yet.
146:52:31 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Houston. Yorktown has radar on you.
Comm break.
146:52:42 Borman (onboard): Alright, I'm in boost entry.
146:52:43 Anders (onboard): Okay.
146:52:44 Borman (onboard): How's it look...
146:52:45 Anders (onboard): Looking good.
146:52:47 Borman (onboard): Is it holding? Cabin pressure?
146:52:50 Anders (onboard): Yes, it's holding.
146:52:51 Borman (onboard): Alright. Watch your altimeter, that's going to come up in a hurry here.
146:52:55 Lovell (onboard): Okay
146:52:56 Anders (onboard): I'll - I'll give you warning on the steam pressure, if I can see it.
146:53:00 Borman (onboard): 2 g's.
146:53:02 Lovell (onboard): 54:29 should be...
146:53:05 Borman (onboard): Looks like we're overshooting, according to the EMS.
146:53:07 Anders (onboard): Yes.
146:53:08 Borman (onboard): Okay.
146:53:10 Lovell (onboard): 53.
146:53:17 Borman (onboard) Got anything yet, Bill?
146:53:19 Anders (onboard): Yeah, I'm getting steam pressure. Okay.
146:53:22 Lovell (onboard): 54:29.
146:53:23 Anders (onboard): We got steam pressure.
146:53:24 Borman (onboard): We do?
146:53:25 Lovell (onboard): Okay.
146:53:26 Anders (onboard): Make sure your heels are locked.
146:53:27 Borman (onboard): We got a - we got a minute to drogues.
146:53:30 Anders (onboard): Okay, you're in boost entry?
146:53:31 Borman (onboard): Yep.
146:53:33 Anders (onboard): Okay, anything on the altimeter, yet?
146:53:36 Borman (onboard): Not yet.
146:53:37 Anders (onboard): Okay, we've got 15 seconds from where - from 90K [27,500 metres].
146:53:40 Borman (onboard): Okay.
146:53:48 Anders (onboard): Okay.
146:53:49 Borman (onboard): There she comes.
146:53:50 Lovell (onboard): Okay, she's starting to come.
146:53:52 Anders (onboard): 30 seconds from 90K [27,500 metres].
Drogue chutes out at 23,000 feet, and the time plot says 146 hours, 54 minutes. The Yorktown is reporting and confirming a radar contact, the bearing is being passed to the recovery room, here in Houston.
146:53:57 Mattingly: Apollo 8, Houston.
146:53:59 Borman: Stand by, Houston.
146:54:01 Mattingly: If you get a chance, we'd like to have your DSKY readings before drogues.
146:54:04 Borman: Stand by.
Borman (onboard): Can you give him a DSKY reading?
146:54:05 Anders (onboard): Before drogues?
146:54:08 Lovell: Roger. DSKY's reading plus four balls 7, plus two balls 812, minus 16522.
Comm break.
146:54:15 Lovell (onboard): 40K [12,200 metres].
146:54:16 Lovell (onboard): Coming up on 40K. You should be at 40K now.
146:54:19 Lovell (onboard): We're at 40K.
146:54:20 Borman (onboard): We are.
146:54:21 Anders (onboard): Okay, my call 30K [9,150 metres].
146:54:23 Borman (onboard): I will.
146:54:30 Borman (onboard): 30K [9,150 metres].
146:54:31 Anders (onboard): ELS.
146:54:32 Borman (onboard): ELS Logic, On
146:54:33 Anders (onboard): Right.
146:54:34 Anders (onboard): ELS, Auto.
146:54:35 Borman (onboard): Auto.
146:54:38 Anders (onboard): Stand by for RCS disable. Stand by on the apex cover.
146:54:40 Borman (onboard): Right.
146:54:46 Borman (onboard): There goes the apex cover; there go the drogues.
146:54:53 Borman (onboard): Okay.
146:54:56 Lovell (onboard): 20,000 [6,100 metres].
The spacecraft is falling at about 10,000 feet/minute - an aircraft normally descends at about 500 feet/minute (3,000 metres/min versus 150 metres/min).
146:55:03 Anders (onboard): Cabin pressure's coming up.
That's Jim Lovell. Apollo Control, Houston here; at 146 hours, 55 minutes. According to our numbers we should have main chute deploy, we should have had it within the last minute. We have heard nothing but a lot of noise on the circuit for the last minute or so. It is understandable at these low level relays, everyone is passing it.
146:55:04 Lovell (onboard): 19,000 [5,800 metres].
146:55:08 Anders (onboard): Stand by for 10K [3,050 metres].
146:55:20 Anders (onboard): Should be approaching 10K soon.
146:55:22 Lovell (onboard): 15 [thousand feet. 4,600 metres].
146:55:25 Borman (onboard): Wonder what that was?
146:55:27 Anders (onboard): Nothing.
146:55:32 Anders (onboard): Should be approaching 10K [3,050 metres]. Standby with the mains in 1 second.
146:55:45 Borman (onboard): You see it?
146:55:46 Anders (onboard): Can't see it.
146:55:47 Borman (onboard): It should reef pretty soon. [Means unreef - the mains come out reefed, and unreef in two phases.]
146:55:48 Anders (onboard): Can't see a thing.
146:55:52 Anders (onboard): Okay, you got them?
146:55:55 Borman (onboard): Yes.
146:55:56 Anders (onboard): Float Bag, three, circuit breakers Closed.
146:55:58 Borman (onboard): Closed.
146:55:59 Anders (onboard): VHF antennas, recovery; VHF AM, simplex.
146:56:03 Anders (onboard): Beacons going On. Get your light On.
146:56:05 Borman (onboard): It's On.
146:56:06 Anders (onboard): you got your - you got it, Jim.
146:56:08 Lovell (onboard): Huh?
146:56:09 Anders (onboard): You got the call - give them a call.
146:56:10 Lovell (onboard): Okay.
146:56:13 Borman: This is Apollo 8. Over.
Long comm break.
And here comes something from Apollo 8, 'Over,' he said. No answer to the Apollo 8 transmission, the transmission from Apollo 8, no follow up. In a simulation yesterday we had extremely good communication from the recovery area and we see - we are hopeful that that situation will be duplicated today.
146:56:15 Borman (onboard): Okay, standing by for the (RCS) dump.
146:56:17 AB1: Apollo 8. Airboss 1. Go ahead.
146:56:19 Lovell (onboard): Roger, Air Force 1. We indicate 8,000 [2,440 metres]. We can't see the chutes, but we're going down very slow.
146:56:25 AB1: Roger, this is Airboss 1. You're sounding very good, very good. You have been reported on radar as, southwest of the ship about 25 [nautical] miles [46 km]. Go ahead.
146:56:37 Lovell (onboard): Roger. We are now indicating 7,000 [2,130 metres].
146:56:40 Borman (onboard): Ask him if he sees our beacon.
146:56:42 Lovell (onboard): Airboss, do you see our flashing beacon?
146:56:44 AB1: This is Airboss 1. Negative. Welcome home, gentlemen, and we'll have you aboard in no time. Go ahead.
146:56:50 Anders (onboard): Stand by for the dump, Frank.
146:56:52 Borman (onboard): Alright.
146 hours, 57 minutes; and according to our estimates, they should be hitting the water just about 147 even. If and when we get some intelligible comm, we will come back up on the line. This is Apollo Control, Houston; standing by.
146:56:55 R3 This is Recovery 3. I have a flashing light, my 4 o'clock position, almost level.
146:57:03 AB1: Recovery 2, sever contact 260
146:57:04 Anders (onboard): Okay, ready for the dump, Frank?
146:57:05 Borman (onboard): Ready.
146:57:06 Anders (onboard): Cabin Pressure Relief valves, both, Closed.
146:57:07 Borman (onboard): Got that.
146:57:08 AB1: ...my position at...
146:57:09 Borman (onboard): Direct O2, Open.
146:57:10 AB1: ...09548.
146:57:11 Borman (onboard): Open.
146:57:12 Anders (onboard): CM RCS Logic, On.
146:57:13 Borman (onboard): On.
146:57:14 Anders (onboard): Command Module Propellant, Dump.
146:57:24 AB2: Recovery 2, Airboss 2. You are cleared to dispatch for your altitude over clouds. Over.
146:57:30 R2: Roger this Is Recovery 2. I see the chutes, I see the light almost directly over Yorktown, level with me at 4,000 feet [1,220 metres] precisely.
146:57:40 Borman (onboard): Stand by. Stand by for Earth landing!
146:57:44 AB1 Yorktown, Airboss I - received a message that he sees the chutes, sees the flashing light almost over Yorktown, descending 4,000 [garble] very, very [garble] Out.
146:58:04 Yorktown: All aircraft, this is Yorktown - have capsule in sight. Out.
This is Apollo Control, Houston; 146 hours, 58 minutes. Recovery II, within the last minute, has reported they have a flashing light in sight, and they followed that with, 'We have voice contact with the crew.' I repeat, they said, 'We have voice contact with the crew.' At 146 hours, 58 minutes; we are going to try and patch that conversation into our consoles here, right now, we have not heard it. The lookout on the Yorktown reports a visual sighting. They must be close at hand. The helicopter nearest them is piloted by Lt. Kenneth Owen of Pensacola, Florida. There are three swimmers in that helicopter. And our Flight Director has advised us to bring up a special circuit, which I hope will bring up any communication that develops out there. We've an estimate now, that the splashpoint may be as close as 5,000 yards [4.6 km] from the Yorktown. I repeat, 5,000 yards from the Yorktown. That is a very rough estimate. Now, we have got a second estimate of 5,000 yards from the Yorktown.
146:58:15 Anders (onboard): Okay! Purge. Purge it.
146:58:20 Borman (onboard): We're purging.
146:58:22 Anders (onboard): Purge complete?
146:58:24 AB1: Yorktown, this is Airboss 1. We consider recovery splashdown in your area. Take control recovery helos and vector them.
146:58:33 Anders (onboard): Floodlights to Postlanding.
146:58:34 Yorktown : This is Yorktown. Roger, out.
146:58:35 Anders (onboard): Cabin Pressure Relief valves, [garble].
146:58:37 R3 This is Recovery 3. Have lost sight of visual light
146:58:40 AB1: [Garble]. Yorktown.
146:58:44 Anders (onboard): Dump - purge the cabin at 3,000 feet [900 metres].
146:58:46 AB2 Recovery 2, 'boss 2. You're 22 out.
146:58:49 Anders (onboard): CM RCS propellant, both. Off.
146:58:50 AB2 Recovery 2. Roger. Passing 1,500 feet [450 metres], descending
146:58:53 Anders (onboard): Rotational Control Power Direct, Off.
146:58:55 Borman (onboard): Direct, Off
146:58:56 Yorktown: This is Yorktown. Affirmative, we do have him in - capsule in sight. Out.
146:59:00 Anders (onboard): Turn him down. Christ, we can't get anything done.
146:59:02 Borman (onboard): Alright, Direct is Off.
146:59:03 R2: ... is Recovery 2. Passing 1,000 feet [300 metres].
146:59:10 Borman (onboard): Okay...
146:59:11 Anders (onboard): What's that?
146:59:12 Borman (onboard): Cabin dump.
146:59:13 Anders (onboard): ...okay cabin dump. Okay, hold it.
146:59:16 Yorktown: Recovery 3, Yorktown. The capsule bears 147; 5,000 yards [4.6 km]. Yorktown, over.
146:59:23 Anders (onboard): [Garble] Off.
146:59:25 Borman (onboard): Alright, anything else we missed?
146:59:27 R3: Roger.
146:59:28 Anders (onboard): Negative; just stand by to release the mains.
146:59:30 Borman (onboard): Yes.
146:59:32 Anders (onboard): Stand by for the Main Bus ties.
146:59:34 Anders (onboard): Brace yourselves.
146:59:36 Borman (onboard): Well, wait; we've got 2,000 feet [600 metres], yet.
146:59:38 Lovell (onboard): I don't know if we have or not. They - reporting us as lower.
146:59:42 Anders (onboard): Oh, they were?
146:59:47 Borman (onboard): Who was worried about getting hot?
146:59:51 Anders (onboard): Only because I cooled you down.
146:59:53 Recovery 3: The spacecraft is down to 1,000 [300 metres].
146:59:58 R2 (from DSE): Recovery 2 is at level 1,000.
146:59:58 Yorktown: Re ready for code 3.
Comm break.
147:00:00 Lovell (onboard): 1,500 [450 metres].
147:00:01 AB1: Roger, 2. This is [garble] 3.
147:00:03 Borman (onboard): He called it 1,000. Maybe we better get these...
147:00:06 R2: Recovery 2, descending through cherubs 5.
147:00:04 Anders (onboard): Okay, Frank, you put them Close whenever you want. I'm turning the Main Bus ties Off now.
147:00:14 AB1: Recovery 1, this in Airboss...
147:01:40 Recovery 3: Yorktown, Rec 3. At this time, the Command Module is in the water. Over.
147:01:44 Yorktown: Roger. [Long pause.]
147:02:03 Yorktown: Recovery 3 reports splashdown time was 51 and 50 seconds, and rescue is underway.
This is Apollo Control. If you have been listening to that circuit, you can tell why we can't be too sure of these events. It's a little ragged, but I have talked to the Public Affairs Officer on the carrier and he assures me the spacecraft is 5,000 yards [4.6 km] away. The general plan was to wait for a little more daylight, before attempting a pickup. Intermittently we have been able to pick Borman's voice out of the noise and he seems to be carrying on the routine kinds of conversation that pilots use when they talk to each other in these kinds of situations. We have no word yet upon the attitude of the spacecraft, whether it is nose down, as was the case in Apollo 7, or up. Nearly everyone agrees it is only 5,000 yards away from the Yorktown, which we will settle for right now at 147 hours, 5 minutes.
Apollo Control, Houston here; 147 hours, 8 minutes. We have had several things confirmed or reverified in the last few minutes. The crew condition number 1 is okay, and that came through loud and clear, just as I was talking, crew condition okay. We have thought we monitored several conversations between the crew and helicopters, airplanes, and what not. We do have it back now, crew condition okay. The estimate from the Yorktown is the swimmers will wait approximately 20 to 25 minutes before deploying, this as per planned that as long as the crew is in satisfactory condition and in fact now we know they are floating quite nicely in a stable 1 condition. I'm sure the chatting will continue over the next 20 to 25 minutes, but we are assured that everything is all right out there, This is Apollo Control, Houston.
Apollo Control, Houston here; at 147 hours, 13 minutes. We have been advised by the recovery forces that recovery helicopter 3 is hovering over the spacecraft, 50 feet [15 metres] above it, and they estimate they are 6,000 yards [5.5 km] away from the Yorktown. The helicopter pilot is Commander Donald S. Jones of Madison, Wisconsin. When the swimmers get the signal to deploy, the first man in the water will be a Sonar Technician from Columbia, South Carolina, named Chester Coogin. Two other swimmers will follow him: LTJG Richard Flanagan of Oklahoma City, and Donald L. Schwab of Imperial Beach, California. And at 147 hours, 14 minutes; that's all the new information we have.
Apollo Control, Houston here. Two new reports. The inflation bags around the spacecraft are inflated and there have been reports, visual reports of course, of the flashing light seen from the Yorktown. Now illuminating the area is a helicopter with a big floodlight. So the entire area should be visible from the Yorktown. This is Apollo Control, Houston.
This is Apollo Control, Houston. From the Yorktown, we have learned they are proceeding toward the spacecraft. They are now 4,500 yards away. And that is our situation at 147 hours, 21 minutes.
And this is Apollo Control, Houston; at 147 hours, 25 minutes. Apparently Frank Borman is making small talk with the crew of that helicopter out there. It was just relayed to us that he had, in chatting with the pilot, he had asked him if anyone had seen the spacecraft on main chute. And of course, there were several reports and this has become the subject of a continuing chat, the pilot of that helicopter is Commander Donald S. Jones. That is all the new information we have right now. At 147 hours, 26 minutes; this is Apollo Control, Houston.
Apollo Control, Houston here; and Ken Mattingly, our Capsule Communicator here, has just tried to call through ARIA aircraft. While we try to establish the communication on that shot, we have been advised that the ship is now 3,800 yards away, and it is off the port side of the ship. The Yorktown has also advised us that in about in 14 minutes, they expect to deploy their first swimmers, about 14 minutes from now. This is Apollo Control, Houston.
And this is Apollo Control, Houston. Ken Mattingly's call just worked and we were kind of frightened at the volume and at the level the answer came back. Borman responded enthusiastically, 'Hello, there, Houston, how are you doing?. Here is the tape.
HTV: Primary rotoer, over. - This is primary rotoer, Apollo 8 has been advised to expect a call on 2968.
ARIA: aircraft, over. - Apollo 8 [garble]. [Garble] that is affirmative, over. Have you heard Apollo 8 [garble] over.
This is Apollo Control, Houston, that begins to make you understand the size of our communication program, it isn't a matter of just understanding every other word, it's a case of trying to understand a piece of every other conversation, but we are cheered up and we feel good, we know the crew is feeling fine and with in a very few minutes swimmers will be in the water and we should start the movement of the crew into the helicopters and over onto the Yorktown. This is Apollo Control, Houston.
And this is Apollo Control, Houston; 147 hours, 34 minutes. If anybody had any doubts about the condition of the crew, this little conversation which has been relayed to us, should clear up those doubts. In conversation with the helicopter commander, the crew commander of the helicoptee asked the crew what the Moon was made out of, whereupon Anders responded that it's not made out of green cheese at all, it's made out of American cheese, and, well, I think the crew is in pretty good shape. This is Apollo Control, Houston.
This is Apollo Control, Houston. The report to us from the scene is that the first light of dawn is beginning to show in the east, they are seeing streaks of light, the capsule is riding very nicely in relatively calm waters and just any minute from now we expect to hear a report, the swimmers are in the water. The conversations that have come back to us, except for an intermittent, occasionally hearing from the crew directly have been relayed from the water to aircraft at approximately 25 or 30 thousand feet. There it is being repeated to another man in Honolulu at Hickam Air Force Base and at that point it is being relayed again, hack here to Houston, at which point I am trying to relay the content of them to you. And now we get an estimate that the swimmers will be in the water in five minutes. He is preparing to put swimmers in the water in four to five minutes. This is Apollo Control, Houston.
This is Apollo Control, Houston. We have a report from one of the on-scene helicopters that the spacecraft is still riding very nicely in the water and rotating at about 1 revolution per minute. I say again, spacecraft rotating at about 1 revolution per minute, which would be a little unusual. I don't know that we have ever seen that. This is Apollo Control, Houston.
This is Apollo Control Houston 147 hours, 42 minutes since we lifted off. From the communications out there, which are perhaps understandably bad at this time of day, this time of year, and under the circumstances we have plucked a breakfast order and we managed to record it and we would like to play it for you.
Yorktown: This is the Yorktown and what would you prefer for your menu this morning, sir? Over.
SC Biscuit, steak, and eggs.
Yorktown: Roger out.
In case you missed it the order came back, 'We'll have steak and eggs, the same as we had before we left.' Now the helicopter is maneuvering in a position to drop swimmers and we expect that drop to start just any moment. Recovery 3 helo will deploy the swimmers. The helicopters continue to hover between 75 to 100 feet [30 metres], as low at 50 feet [15 metres], for certain inspection type passes. And Air Boss Lt. Glen Byers of Evansville, Indiana, reports the first swimmer is in the water. And now we are advised that the swimmer has attached a sea anchor, and now the helicopter is moving to deploy his two swimming colleagues. And then immediately one of the swimmers will plug in a phone and have a quick conversation with the crew.
This is Apollo Control, Houston. We are advised that the sea anchor has been attached. The swimmers and the helicopter report they can see a light glowing through the windows from the spacecraft. The hatch, apparently not yet open. The last measured distance we have between the Yorktown and the spacecraft is 2,900 yards [2.7 km]. This is Apollo Control, Houston.
Apollo Control Houston here at 147 hours, 49 minutes since lift-off. Now all three swimmers from helicopter III are in the water and they are clearly visible to the helicopter. They are working to affix the flotation collar still an added measure of flotation insurance, around the blunt end of the spacecraft. Immediately they will inflate the Mae West type device, and that is our situation.
Apollo Control, Houston here. In the last few minutes, we've deciphered from one relay communication from Jim Lovell that he can see the swimmers working around the spacecraft. We have had confirmation that the flotation collar is fully inflated and secured. We have had some queries regarding our splash point. Our best estimate is the aiming point, we have no reason to - to know that is was 5,000 yards [4.6 km] away from the Yorktown, the Yorktown is very, very close to the aiming point which was 165 degrees north, I say again 165 degrees north, - correction - 165 degrees west and 8 degrees, 8 minutes north. The collar fully inflated. We still have no word as to when we might expect the crew open that hatch and come out and take a breath of Earth air. This is Apollo Control, Houston.
And this is Apollo Control, Houston. We have just been advised that the swimmers are standing on the inflation collar, awaiting the crew's pleasure. We still have no estimate as to when the crew will emerge, but it's our guess that that will come at just any minute right now. Now the swimmers are going through additional precautions to insure that the inflation collar is very securely fastened to the spacecraft. Our elapsed time clock shows 148 hours, with the line open for some word on that hatch opening.
Apollo Control here. We have just been advised that the Recovery 3 is preparing to drop a large life-raft. The collar has been inspected and just any moment we expect to see - two life-rafts have been dropped. Two life-rafts, and this probably signals a hatch opening just any moment.
This is Apollo Control, Houston. Our extraordinary communication coincidences continue. The swimmers advise that they cannot talk to the crew via interphone, which is a hard line interphone connection, but they can talk with the crew by little hand radios. Still no word as to when that hatch is going to open, but we are getting our first look at it here in this Control Center in color television which is an addition for this first flight. Both the color camera and color monitors. There has been some discussion that if that ship doesn't stop pitching and rolling we may have some seasickness here. This is Apollo Control, Houston.
This is Apollo Control, Houston. Now we have been advised that the recovery plan will be thusly: the crew will exit the spacecraft, get into a life raft, and then the hatch will be secured before we begin any spacecraft pickup or any pilot pickup. I thought I copied - stand by just one moment. Yes, I'm sorry, no time estimate just yet as to when we can expect these events but with the light situation out there we may be able to see them. They are estimating 1,500 yards [1.4 km] now from the spacecraft. We will continue to monitor here. This is Apollo Control, Houston.
This is Apollo Control, Houston. We have just been advised the hatch of Apollo 8, the hatch is now open. Just any moment we should have some report on exiting crew members. At 11:04 Houston time we received the report the hatch was open. And even though our - and now we're getting the first astronaut, who is not identified by anything other than 'the first astronaut', is now exiting the spacecraft. He's now getting in a life raft. And now a second astronaut is leaving the spacecraft, and if we're following military tradition, the next astronaut should be Frank Borman, although since he is Air Force he may not follow the Navy tradition of the captain of the ship leaving 1ast. Now a second astronaut is sitting in the life raft. And now recovery advised the third astronaut, the final - and of course the usual jokes about 'And now the fourth astronaut!' but we've succeeded in suppressing the recovery room advising us of any additional astronauts. All three astronauts are in the lift raft, the swimmers are positioned on the collar around the spacecraft. They are preparing to close - seal the hatch for the pickup which will come perhaps, an hour from now. And the order of the pilots leaving the Command Module was exactly opposite that that I intimated. Borman left first, the second - let's check it. Lovell went second and the junior member of the crew, Bill Anders, was the last to leave.
And now we have had a third change on it. Jim Lovell mav have been the first to leave the spacecraft. That makes good sense. Since he was in the center couch, it's entirely possible that he would leave first in order to let the others out.
And this is Apollo Control, Houston. We have learned within the last couple of minutes that the crew has transferred to a new liferaft, for what reason we don't know, but we do know that they are in a second liferaft now and the recovery helicopter is maneuvering to begin the pickup operation. On our recovery board here we see a message from Admiral McMannes, which reads, 'Please convey to our NASA friends my congratulations on this magnificent achievement, this reflected glory, has permitted all of us to stand taller in today's world; epic, historic, amazing, fantastic, heartwarming, and the next word I can't make out - unbelievable until it happened, magnificent. It's signed Admiral McMannes and staff, who is the commander of the task force charged with this recovery effort. We are advised that the first astronaut is in the helicopter, no more identification than that. Just first astronaut in helicopter. Now the line is going down for the second astronaut. And the line is dangling and awaiting the pickup of the second man. The second astronaut in the sling and on his way.
And now we have had it confirmed; the second astronaut is in the recovery helicopter. And the line is going down for the third astronaut. Earlier we had given a position of the helicopter - of the carrier, only 1,500 yards [1.4 km] from the scene. That was incorrect, it should be corrected. The position at that time was 3,500 yards [3.2 km] from the scene and the carrier is making its swing now, preparatory to spacecraft pickup. All right, the third astronaut is in the sling and is being brought up into the helicopter. And the third astronaut steps into the helo at 11:14 Houston time. The helicopter pilot confirms that the helo door has been secured, all three men are aboard and they are preparing to embark on a short flight to the Yorktown. And as we can see on our television monitors, the helicopter is now proceeding toward the Yorktown.
And it is blowing at 20 knots.
And this is Apollo Control here. Recovery III has permission to land first. Recovery III is bearing the pilots, we believe. We hear Recovery II being instructed to return to the helo at this time. Brisk, windy, situation out there. Navy helicopter number 66 prepares to touch down on the deck of the Yorktown. And touchdown at 20 minutes after the hour, 11:30 CST. For those reporters not looking at a television monitor, the engines are being shutdown now and two crew members have moved out to block the wheels. And the television camera shifts to the door.
Apollo Control, Houston here. We had it confirmed through recovery, that apparently, at the request of Frank Borman, there was an electric razor aboard helicopter, and Frank Borman used it on the way in. Very clean shaven, in contrast to the rather scraggle comrades with him. Apollo Control, Houston here.
And this is Apollo Control, Houston. If you are listening to this loop you probably hear applause in the background as demonstration going on here in the Control Center that we haven't seen ever in our history. If you are in front of a television monitor, you can see an American flag, approximately 15 feet long, and about 10 feet from top to bottom. It was rigged in the Control Center earlier this morning. It has been pulled into place. Every console operator is displaying a flag at his desk, very similar to what we saw immediately after the rendezvous in Gemini VI. That's the only other time that we've seen such a display of flags in the Control Center. The earlier display didn't begin to touch this one. Huge flag. It completely blocks out the wall map that we've looked at so intensely for the last six and one half days. Everyone applauded, and in one of the loops we could hear the Star Spangled Banner. We're absolutely jammed with people here. All three Flight Controllers shifts are in the room. All the program officials.
Apollo Control here, if you can hear me above all these voices. It is a veritable roar in here. The North American people are in, the room is awash with cigar smoke. A number of congratulatory messages are coming across this console. We've seen several, we've read several. Here's one from I think it will describe itself. The world's greatest tracking station sends its heartfelt congratulations to the Apollo 8 crew, its beautiful spacecraft and all those who have shared in this magnificent accomplishment. And it's signed, of course, from the tracking station in Madrid, Spain. Courtesy of Dan Hunter, former MSC man before he moved to Madrid. We might return the compliment to Madrid which made possible so many of those beautiful television shots. This is Apollo Control, Houston.
Again this is Apollo Control. I'm not sure how well our voice is getting out. There is tremendous roar, an undercurrent and roar in the background. I have never seen a degree of this emotional outpouring in any previous mission, including Alan Shepard's. I guess one of the big differences there between that one and this one is Alan is here standing right in the middle of this one puffing on a long black cigar. I've seen rallies in locker rooms after championship games, happy politicians after elections, but never - none of them do justice to the spirit pervading this room. For the benefit of reporters listening I have been advised that we estimate the center director's and other officials well be available in our auditorium in 30 minutes for a press conference. This is Apollo Control, Houston.
This is Apollo Control here. Again, I think that many of you can see this tumult. Someone suggested that we have set the American Cancer Society's antismoking campaign back several light years, I take it from one who quit smoking a year and a half ago that this is a strong cigar. I don't know how the room can hold any more people, but they keep coming in. Someone is standing on a console next to mine. It's a photographer. I can't even make out who is in front of the flight director's desk, but he's produced box after box of cigars. Al Shepard just threw one back here. It ricocheted off the wall. That's our status.
We have just had - Apollo Control here, we have just had a chat with Donald K. Slayton, the director of Flight Crew Operations. He tells me that he plans to fly to Hawaii this afternoon. He is going out commercial; he expects the crew will land at Hickam tomorrow afternoon about 2 o'clock, Hawaii time. It will be - primarily the reason for the delay is that the carrier is out of airplane range at Hickam, Deke estimates that they will be on the ground about an hour, leaving Hawaii about 3 o'clock, Hawaii time and they should be back here at Ellington Air Force Base, next to this center about 2 o'clock Sunday morning, and I suspect that there are three families that are happy to hear that word. This is Apollo Control, Houston.
This is Apollo Control. We have been asked to pass along the figures that we have here in Mission Control Center on the time of splash, that figure is 147 hours, 00 minutes and 11 seconds. Almost precisely as planned, and to repeat again our landing coordinates: 165 degrees west; 8 degrees, 8 minutes north; also right on target. This is Apollo Control, Houston, out.
Previous Index
Day 6: The Green Team Journal Home Page