Frank Borman (CDR)

Houston, this is Apollo 8. Are you getting high bit rate all right?

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

That is affirmative, Apollo 8. We are getting a good high bit rate.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

Roger. I've got some more talking to do about the TV any time it's convenient for you.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

Okay. First thing, we've made no provisions in these instructions for taking pictures of the moon. If you get some moon shots after it's all over by looking out a different window or by making some small maneuver, of course, we would be happy to have them, but the show as scheduled is just out the window at the earth only. Over.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

The second point is, of course, when you stop your passive thermal control, you are about 90 degrees to the earth line, so when you make that yaw left, you are going to have to yaw left until your middle gimbal angle is in the vicinity of 60 degrees. You will get the additional 30 degrees by offset between where the camera is pointed and your plus X axis. But the two together are going to total up around 90. We just wanted to make sure that you understood you were going to be working with a large middle gimbal angle. Over.

Frank Borman (CDR)

Roger. We understand that. We also are looking at the earth right now, and there is a spectacular long thin band of clouds. Looks like it may be a jet stream. It's absolutely spectacular—going almost all the way—or half way around the earth.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

Roger. Well, you might want to repeat that during the TV narrative, and we would like you, if possible, to go into as much of a detailed description as you poets can on the various colors and sizes of those things and how the earth appears to you, in as much detail as you can possibly muster. Over.

Frank Borman (CDR)

Roger. I figure we will have to do that because I bet you—I won't bet—but I bet the TV doesn't work.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

Well, we won't take that bet, but anyway, we are standing by for a nice lurid description, and we would suggest that you talk a little bit slower than you did yesterday. Over.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

And the only other thing on this TV is that the experts tell us that—do not point—with the wide angle lens on the camera, do not point at either the earth or the moon. It comes close to damaging interior of the instrument due to the fact that it's too bright. Over.

Bill Anders (LMP)

Houston, Apollo 8. We're going to have to switch to an OMNI.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

Apollo 8, Houston. Over.

Frank Borman (CDR)

Go ahead, Houston. Apollo 8.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

Roger. Just checking the voice COMM, Frank.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

Roger. We'll be switching antennas from Madrid to Goldstone in another 3 minutes. You can expect a glitch on your COMM.

Frank Borman (CDR)

Houston, how do you read? Apollo 8.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

Apollo 8, Houston. We're reading you loud and clear through Goldstone. Over.

Frank Borman (CDR)

Okay. We have the television ON now, and we're trying to maneuver to the—to the earth.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

Apollo 8, Houston. Over.

Jim Lovell (CMP)

Roger. We're maneuvering to position now for the TV. Bill's got it set up in Frank's left rendezvous window, and I'm over in Bill's spot looking out the right rendezvous window, and the earth is now passing through my window. It's about as big as the end of my thumb.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

About as big as the end of your thumb at arm's length, huh?

Jim Lovell (CMP)

That's right. I think what we see now is South America down below us.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

Roger. Is the TV camera pointed about 30 degrees yaw left from the plus X axis?

Jim Lovell (CMP)

Stand by a moment. We're checking it. We think we've got it in the right position. We're going into position now.

Bill Anders (LMP)

Houston, are you getting any sort of a picture?

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

Apollo 8, Houston. Negative; not yet.

Bill Anders (LMP)

Okay. Houston, Apollo 8. We should have —

Frank Borman (CDR)

Key moment TV broadcast 2: views of the earth: Hello, Houston; this is Apollo 8. We have the television camera pointed directly at the earth now and have followed the instructions you gave us.

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Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

Roger, Frank. We're picking something up on our TV. It's not very good so far, but let it sit for a second, and we'll have more instructions for you.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

Okay. It's coming into view now, Frank.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

Yes. We have it in the corner of our screen. You're slightly off on your pointing, but we're getting a darn good look at the corner of it.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

It's moving off, Frank. It's moving off our—3 o'clock on our TV screen. I have no idea what to tell you about which way to point.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

It's moving further away. We've lost it now.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

Apollo 8, Houston. Receiving nothing now. Over.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

We're receiving the picture; we're just not seeing the view of the earth.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

Okay. We are just picking it up at 3 o'clock on our screen.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

It is moving up toward 1 o'clock and in toward the center; keep it going in that direction.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

It's looking better. You're holding it about 1 or 2 o'clock. Looking better. Give us a little more in that same direction. You're down at 3 o'clock now. We see about half of what you see. Too much. It is disappearing at our 5 o'clock. Now it is coming back. It is half off—screen at our 2 o'clock.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

And it's disappeared off at our 3 o'clock. There, It is coming back in now. It is headed toward the center of our screen.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

It is right in the center of our screen. Just hold her—hold her steady. It is really looking good. Okay. We have —

Jim Lovell (CMP)

What you're seeing, Mike, is a—Houston, what you are seeing is the Western Hemisphere. Looking—at the top is the North Pole; in the center—just lower to the center is South America—all the way down to Cape Horn. I can see Baja California and the southwestern part of the United States. There is a big long cloud bank going northeast, covers a lot of the Gulf of Mexico, going up to the eastern part of the United States, and it appears now that the east coast is cloudy, I can see clouds over parts of Mexico; the parts of Central America are clear. And we can also see the white, bright spots of the subsolar point on the light side of the earth.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

Roger. Could you give me some ideas about the colors, and also, could you try a slight maneuver? It is disappearing. We're seeing about half of it. It is going off to our 12 o'clock. Now it is going off to our 3 o'clock. That is the wrong direction. Yes, that is a good direction.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

We need another small correction to bring it to our center screen. If you could maneuver toward the terminator, that is the part of it we are missing. We are getting the lighted portion. There you go; that's fine. Stop it right there.

Jim Lovell (CMP)

Okay. For colors, waters are all sort of a royal blue; clouds, of course, are bright white; the reflection off the earth is—appears much greater than the moon. The land areas are generally a brownish—sort of dark brownish to light brown in texture. Many of the vortices of clouds can be seen of the various weather cells. A long band of—it appears cirrus clouds that extend from the entrance to the Gulf of Mexico going straight out across the Atlantic. The terminator, of course, cuts through the Atlantic Ocean right now, going from north to south. Southern Hemisphere is almost completely clouded over, and up near the North Pole there is quite a few clouds. Southwestern Texas and southwestern United States is clear. I'd say there are some clouds up in the northwest and over in the northeast portion.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

Roger. Could you maneuver toward the terminator again, please?

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

A little bit more. Stop her right there and hold it. It keeps slipping up a little bit; could you maneuver slightly more toward the terminator?

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

We are getting about half of the earth, Frank. The top half—our top half which includes the dark portion it—is obscured.

Frank Borman (CDR)

How is the definition on the picture?

Jim Lovell (CMP)

Can you see cloud patterns at all?

Bill Anders (LMP)

Are you still seeing it, Houston?

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

Yes, we are seeing it. We are missing the portion of the earth that is over toward the terminator. The dark portion of the earth is what we are not picking up. We are getting about three-quarters or four-fifths of the rest of it.

Bill Anders (LMP)

Roger. I will move it, and tell me when I am getting better or worse please.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

Stop right there. That is worse, Bill. Go back where you were. You made it disappear to our 3 o'clock. Now it's coming back. Okay. Stop right there. Now you are back where you were, and we need a motion that is about 90 degrees to that last one you gave us.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

That is the wrong 90 degrees. 180 degrees away from that one.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

Stop right there. Okay. Now we have lost a different half of it. I need a motion 90 degrees to that last one.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

That is good right there, Bill. That is good right there.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

Apollo 8, Houston. If you can stick your polarizing filter in front of the camera without disturbing anything else, it might improve the quality slightly.

Bill Anders (LMP)

Okay. The polarising filter is in front.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

Still looking good. That didn't make much of a change one way or another, but in general, considering how far away you are, it's looking excellent.

Bill Anders (LMP)

Well, I hope that everyone enjoys the picture that we are taking of themselves. How far away from earth now, Jim, about?

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

We have you about 180 000.

Bill Anders (LMP)

You are looking at yourselves at 180 000 miles out in space.

Jim Lovell (CMP)

Frank, what I keep imagining is if I am some lonely traveler from another planet what I would think about the earth at this altitude, whether I think it would be inhabited or not.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

Don't see anybody waving; is that what you are saying?

Jim Lovell (CMP)

I was just kind of curious if I would land on the blue or the brown part of the earth.

Bill Anders (LMP)

You better hope that we land on the blue part.

Bill Anders (LMP)

Jim is always for land landings.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

Roger. This picture is drifting off center again. If you could make another correction to bring it back. I couldn't tell you which direction, but you're going the right way, you're going the right way. A little bit more; a little bit more. Whoa, stop right there. That's the best centering we have had, Apollo 8. If you could just hold that, that's perfect,

Bill Anders (LMP)

To give you some idea, Mike, of what we can see: I can pick out the southwest coastline of the Gulf and where Houston should be, and also the mouth of the Mississippi; I can see Baja California and that particular area. I am using a monocular that we have aboard.

Jim Lovell (CMP)

This is an 8-power instrument I have.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

Right. Well, we are seeing the entire earth now including the terminator. Course we can't see anything past the terminator at all. Are you able with your binoculars to see the dark horizon? Anything past the terminator?

Jim Lovell (CMP)

Negative, Mike. We can't see anything past the terminator with the binoculars or without them. This earth is just too bright, and it cuts down the night adaptation to see anything on the dark side.

Bill Anders (LMP)

Since this is winter—since this is winter time in the northern hemisphere, we can see all of the South Pole and the southern ice cap, and not too much of the North Pole.

Frank Borman (CDR)

Hey, you and Jim better get together. Jim just said he saw the North Pole.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

He is looking out a different window.

Bill Anders (LMP)

That is what makes it different.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

Do you still have the —

Bill Anders (LMP)

He has the monocular upside down.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

Do you still have the polarizing filter in front of the camera?

Bill Anders (LMP)

Negative?

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

Okay.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

Try putting it back in front of the camera one more time.

Bill Anders (LMP)

Okay.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

And once again, we need a small attitude correction. Our earth is disappearing up and to the right. Our earth and your earth. The wrong way, wrong way. A little bit more. Okay. That is fine if you can hold it right there. Oops! Now it's slipping back off again. Okay. Keep coming a little bit more, a little bit more. Okay. Ninety degrees to that direction; that is the wrong 90, the other way. There we go. A little bit more. Nope, wrong way, wrong way; I am sorry. Keep coming in that direction. No, it is gone up at our 12 o'clock. There we go, it is coming back down. There we go, it's coming back down, it's coming back down. Bring it down a little bit more. Okay. Stop. Now we need 90 degrees to that direction again.

Bill Anders (LMP)

I hope that the next camera has a sight on it.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

Well, that has disappeared, just practically. We were wondering if there was any chance of your looking out one of the other windows and seeing the moon? Hey, it is coming back in, Bill. Okay. Hold it right there. That is just fine for the earth right where you are. That is extremely good on the earth if you can just hold that.

Frank Borman (CDR)

I don't think we have—It has the polarizing filter in front of it now, Mike.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

Roger. Thank you, and it is centered very well. We get a very slight improvement with this, but in general, it is very good considering the distance. How about the moon, Frank? Is it visible through one of your other windows? Could you get it visible with a small maneuver?

Frank Borman (CDR)

Negative. I think we will have to save the moon for another time.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

Roger. I understand. You are still very well centered with your picture. We noticed a couple of jumps in the apparent intensity. Did you make some filter changes?

Frank Borman (CDR)

Roger. We tried to put that other red filter in front of it, but it didn't seem to fit.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

We would—On a final test when you get down to the end of your allotted time here, we would like you to remove all filters and let us see how it looks with all filters removed, and then we would like to get several spotmeter readings at the very end after the test.

Frank Borman (CDR)

Okay. We will be removing the red filter now.

Frank Borman (CDR)

Do you still have us, Mike? The lens is off now.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

Roger. We have it, and if you could maneuver it toward the terminator slightly, you would again center our picture.

Frank Borman (CDR)

Okay. Stand by. How's that? Is that the right direction?

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

That is the right direction. Keep coming. Now that is the wrong direction, Frank. Did you —

Frank Borman (CDR)

How is it now, Houston?

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

Well, negative. I need another maneuver toward the terminator. It is drifting off the screen to our 11 o'clock. We appear to need a maneuver toward the terminator, Frank.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

No, that is apparently the wrong way, Frank. We are starting to lose the picture. There you go. That is the correct way.

Frank Borman (CDR)

Okay, Houston. How's that for today?

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

That is just fine, Frank. That's great. We would like to, at the conclusion here, take three spotmeter readings. You can do that at any time at your convenience. We would just like to get some after-the-fact readings on the earth intensity.

Frank Borman (CDR)

Roger. Jim has got the spotmeter on now.

Frank Borman (CDR)

Is it centered now, Houston?

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

That's good right there. Hold that right there. That's good. That's perfect.

Frank Borman (CDR)

Okay, earth. This is Apollo 8 signing off for today.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

Good show, Apollo 8. We appreciate it. See you manana.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

We have Haney down here following your trajectory, so all is well. He says you're 10 minutes from the moon's sphere of influence.

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Spoken on Dec. 23, 1968, 7:58 p.m. UTC (49 years, 1 month ago). Link to this transcript range is: Tweet