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Apollo 8 Flight Journal

Recent Updates and Additions

These are updates that have been made to the Apollo Flight Journal in recent months.


Journal contributor, Simon Plumpton, is adding audio audio files, one per chapter, to the Apollo 8 Flight Journal. So far, the first three chapters have been added to.


A video index has been produced that includes all six on the mission's 16-mm onboard movie magazines.
Thanks to Leo Bakker for pointing out an error in Day 1: The Maroon Team.


Paul White carried out research comparing weather patterns on contemporary weather satellite images to pin down the timings of Apollo 8 orbital photo AS08-12-2188.


Thanks to Danny Ross Lunsford for pointing out an error in a star map that I had produced for Day 3: The Black Team - Approaching the Moon.


Journal reader, Syd Buxton has kindly supplied a rendering of a cloudless Earth as seen when Apollo 8's famous Earthrise photo was taken.


Journal contributors Danny Caes and David Harland noticed that all the photos in the magazine 13 index had been labelled as mag 12. Now rectified.


Journal contributor Ed Hengeveld acquired high quality scans of all seven film magazines shot by the Apollo 8 crew using their two Hasselblad cameras. These images can be access through a Photography Index. Many thanks to Ed.


Journal contributors René and Jonathan Cantin have been busy again, and this time, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 8 flight, they have produced a WMV video file that portrays the entire 23-minute 9th orbit TV transmission that climaxed in the crew's reading from Genesis. They have expertly used a split screen to allow the features passing below to be labelled. We are extremely greateful to them for their excellent efforts.


Two versions of a video file showing an annotated version of 16-mm magazine J's coverage of Apollo 8's second pass over the sunlit hemisphere of the Moon have been donated by journal contributors René and Jonathan Cantin. These are in high resolution (34.6 MB) and low resolution (17.7 MB) and links have been added to Day 4: Lunar Orbits 1, 2 and 3.

René's and Jonathan's efforts are greatly appreciated and our thanks go to them.


Bill Wood has scanned a document supplied by Ed Fendell which details much about the Apollo Instrumentation Ships. We thank both Bill and Ed. A link has been added to Day 1: Earth Orbit and Translunar Injection and the PDF file can be found here:

Handbook for Apollo Instrumentation Ships


Contributions from Phil Karn were added to Day 1: The Maroon Team concerning the discussions on radio circuit margins and the S-band system. With thanks to Phil.


Andrew Vignaux kindly pointed out that within the manoeuvre PADs, I had misplaced the decimal point in many of the boresight star angles. These have all been fixed and thanks go to Andrew for his diligence.


For the 39th anniversary of Apollo 8's flight, Colin MacKellar placed a large trance of Apollo 8 audio on the web and this is happily generating a flurry of corrections by journal readers. Andrew Vignaux has supplied me with corrections to the first four chapters and we thank him for his diligence.


Colin MacKellar pointed out some small transcription errors:

040:02:48 in Day 2: The Black Team

064:38:09 in Day 3: The Black Team - Approaching the Moon

116:56:14 in Day 5: The Maroon Team

142:01:52, an added comm in Day 6: The Maroon Team - Splashdown


At 007:58:06 in Day 1: The Maroon Team, journal writer Tim Blaxland helped me decode a transmission from Borman regarding the Waste Stowage Vent Valve. With thanks to Tim.


The following sections of the journal have been added, taking the journey to its end. Note that, for the most part, these sections lack commentary though it is the intention of the authors to add this later.

Day 4: Lunar Orbits 4, 5 and 6

Day 4: Lunar Orbits 7, 8 and 9

Day 4: Final Orbit and Trans-Earth Injection

Day 4 & 5: The Black Team

Day 5: The Green Team

Day 5: The Maroon Team

Day 5 & 6: The Black Team

Day 6: The Green Team

Day 6: The Maroon Team - Splashdown


For Day 3: Lunar Encounter, journal reader David Harland pointed out that Borman's comment reproduced at 069:15:24 shows that Lovell, at 069:01:18, was using the lack of stars to tell that the Moon was close.


Spike MacPhee pointed out an error at 002:55:36 in Day 1: Earth Orbit and Translunar Injection where I had used 'perigee' when I meant to use 'apogee'. With thanks to Spike.


David Harland pointed out to me that my paragraph on pogo in the S-II stage is wrong in Day 1: Launch and Ascent to Earth Orbit. I had written that pogo was dealt with after Apollo 13 by early shutdown of the centre engine. This was actually done by fitting an accumulator to the centre engine LOX feedline. Early centre engine shutdown was implemented from Apollo 10 onwards.


Two sections added to the Apollo 8 Flight Journal covering arrival in lunar orbit and the first three orbits. Additionally, a core AFJ site has been set up which will contain material that is relevant across all the Apollo missions. To introduce this site, we are pleased to include a complete version of Volume 1 of the Apollo Operations Handbook for the Command and Service Modules. This comprehensive description of the CSM systems is presented as sixteen PDF files averaging 10 MB in size.


Widespread small corrections were made to the following files after tapes of Apollo 8 air/ground came to light in Australia. We would like to pass on our sincere thanks to Rosemary Scrivener, whose late husband, Bernie, recorded these tapes at the Honeysuckle Earth Station in Australia during the Apollo 8 mission. Rosemary passed the tapes on to Mike Dinn who digitised them and subsequently sent the resultant files to the Apollo 8 Flight Journal. The tapes cover about 50 hours of the mission, over one third of the total.


I found an error in my description at 066:47:30, of a star used for attitude checking, in Day 3: The Black Team - Approaching the Moon. The diagram has been repaired and the text fixed.


Roland Suhr helped us sort out details of Apollo 8's initial acceleration and its comparison to that of Apollo 15. Day 1: Launch and Ascent to Earth Orbit has been altered to reflect this. He also helped tighten an explanation in >Day 1: The Maroon Team concerning the landing site at 009:18:25. We are grateful for his help.


Typo fixed in Day 1: Earth Orbit and Translunar Injection. With thanks to Lennie Waugh.


Addition of five new sections:


Typos, corrections and suggestions in all files through the excellent efforts of Dave Hardin and we pass on our thanks.


Typo in Lunar Orbit Insertion essay fixed. With thanks to Ronald Hansen.

The SA-503 Saturn V Flight Manual, which is a 15.6MB PDF file, has been added to the site.


We are grateful to Jim Sherman for clarification suggestions at the beginning of the TVC check in Day 1: The Maroon Team, and to Day 2: The Green Team in regard to the medical discussion between Frank Borman and Dr. Chuck Berry.


Addition of three new sections:


Addition of extract from Change of Shift Press Briefing at 002:27:27 in Day 1: Earth Orbit and Translunar Injection. Addition of photograph showing High Gain Antenna controls. With thanks to Bruce Yarbro for kindly donating his images of the interior of CM-109, Odyssey.


Typos and corrections to Day 1: Launch and Ascent to Earth Orbit and Day 1: Earth Orbit and Translunar Injection furnished by Dave Hardin. With thanks.

New section added; Day 1: The Green Team and Separation.

Listing for System Test Meter read-outs added to Day 1: Earth Orbit and Translunar Injection.


Apollo 8 Flight Journal goes online.
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