Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

Okay. We've just finished looking at all your systems and all the trajectory information, and you have a GO for another REV.

Frank Borman (CDR)

I understand we're GO for REV 9.

Frank Borman (CDR)

How's the weather down there, Ken?

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

It's really beautiful; loud and clear and just right in temperature.

Frank Borman (CDR)

How about the recovery area?

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

That's looking real good.

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

Yes. They told us that there is a beautiful moon out there.

Frank Borman (CDR)

Now I was just saying that there's a beautiful earth out there.

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

It depends on your point of view.

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

If you're looking for things to do up there, Frank, you might hit that BIOMED switch over to the left position.

Frank Borman (CDR)

Five, four, three—say again.

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

We've got the computers waiting.

Frank Borman (CDR)

Ken, are you ready? Five, four, three, two, one.

Frank Borman (CDR)

Houston, Apollo 8. How do you read?

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

I'm reading you weak but clear, Frank.

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

How about this antenna? Is that any better?

Frank Borman (CDR)

Hey, Ken; how did you pull duty on Christmas Eve? It happens to bachelors every time, doesn't it?

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

I wouldn't be anywhere else tonight.

Frank Borman (CDR)

Ken, how's the … tracking on this lunar orbit coming out?

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

Okay. Frank, it's looking like it's coming right down the pike. It's doing just what it is supposed to, and apparently, all our computer programs have got the right numbers in them because they're predicting where you're going.

Frank Borman (CDR)

Have they covered any of these anomalies due to high spots?

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

Roger. They're detectable, but they're not changing, things enough to be anything more than—of interest.

Frank Borman (CDR)

Fine. Hope they are as good with the corridor as they were with the LOI. That was beautiful.

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

It sure was. That's—that is textbook all the way.

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

Okay. We're about—inside 10 minutes till LOS. We'll be picking you up again at 85:40, and we'll have all of the TV types' information standing by. In the event that the situation develops again, for pointing accuracies, if I see anything that looks like a terminator or anything of that nature, I'm going to call the dark side of it 12 o'clock, and use that as a reference system, and we'll try that. If that doesn't dope out any problems with camera pointing, why I may try—call for a plus pitch, and then I'll just correct what I see to account for it.

Frank Borman (CDR)

Roger. We're not going to use the telephoto lens. I don't believe we'll be able to get a picture of the earth. It's going to have to be the terminator, the lunar surface. I'm looking at the earth right now; and we won't see it again during that period.

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

Okay. Real fine then. And next time around, why, we'll take an extra special look at all of the parameters; we'll have our TEI PAD for you. And we'll use the last REV for a real good hack on all systems. I'll give you a rundown by system of all things we see and where they stand.

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

Apollo 8, Houston. We're approaching 4 minutes to LOS. All systems are GO.

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

Loud and clear and an initial look at your systems are good.

Bill Anders (LMP)

Houston, Apollo 8. Over.

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

Key moment TV broadcast 4: views of the moon: We've got a picture, Apollo 8.

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Bill Anders (LMP)

Roger. We've got the T—Roger. We've got the TV …

Bill Anders (LMP)

How does the picture look, Houston?

Jim Lovell (CMP)

Welcome from the moon, Houston.

Bill Anders (LMP)

Houston, you're seeing a view of the earth taken below the lunar horizon. We're going to follow a track until the terminator, where we will turn the spacecraft and give you a view of the long shadowed terrain at the terminator, which should come in quite well in the TV.

Bill Anders (LMP)

We don't know whether you can see it from the TV screen, but the moon is nothing but a milky white—completely void. We're changing the cameras to the other window now.

Frank Borman (CDR)

This is Apollo 8, coming to you live from the moon. We've had to switch the TV cameras now. We showed you first a view of earth as we've been watching it for the past 16 hours. Now we're switching so that we can show you the moon that we've been flying over at 60 miles altitude for the last 16 hours. Bill Anders, Jim Lovell, and myself have spent the day before Christmas up here doing experiments, taking pictures, and firing our spacecraft engines to maneuver around. What we will do now is follow the trail that we've been following all day and take you on through to a lunar sunset. The moon is a different thing to each one of us. I think that each one of us—each one carries his own impression of what he's seen today. I know my own impression is that it's a vast, lonely, forbidding-type existence, or expanse of nothing, that looks rather like clouds and clouds of pumice stone, and it certainly would not appear to be a very inviting place to live or work. Jim, what have you thought most about?

Jim Lovell (CMP)

Well, Frank, my thoughts are very similar. The vast loneliness up here of the moon is awe inspiring, and it makes you realize just what you have back there on earth. The earth from here is a grand oasis in the big vastness of space.

Frank Borman (CDR)

Bill, what do you think?

Bill Anders (LMP)

I think the thing that impressed me the most was the lunar sunrises and sunsets. These in particular bring out the stark nature of the terrain, and the long shadows really bring out the relief that is here and hard to see at this very bright surface that we're going over right now.

Frank Borman (CDR)

You're describe—that's not color, Bill. Describe some of the physical features of what you're showing the people.

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

Apollo 8, Houston. We're not receiving a picture now. Over.

Bill Anders (LMP)

We're now coming on to Smyth's Sea, a small mare region covered with a dark, level material. There is a fresh, bright, impact crater on the edge towards us and a mountain range on the other side. These mountains are the Pyrenees.

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

Apollo 8, we're not receiving modulation on the signal; we do have SYNC.

Frank Borman (CDR)

Are you reading us? Apollo, Houston.

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

Apollo 8, we're reading you loud and clear, but no picture. We have no modulation.

Jim Lovell (CMP)

Roger. We understand. Take a look now.

Bill Anders (LMP)

How about now? Apollo.

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

Loud and clear. Good picture.

Bill Anders (LMP)

What you're seeing has been cross—Smyth's Sea are the craters Castner and Gilbert, and what we've noticed especially, that you cannot see from the earth, are the small bright impact craters that dominate the lunar surface.

Bill Anders (LMP)

The horizon here is very, very stark. The sky is pitch black, and the earth—or the moon, rather, excuse me—is quite light; and the contrast between the sky and the moon is a vivid, dark line. Coming into the view of the camera now are some interesting old double ring craters, some interesting features that are quite common in the mare region and have been filled by some material the same consistency of the maria and the same color. Here are three or four of these interesting features. Further on the horizon you see the … The mountains coming up now are heavily impacted with numerous craters whose central peaks you can see in many of the larger ones.

Jim Lovell (CMP)

Actually, I think the best way to describe this area is a vastness of black and white, absolutely no color.

Bill Anders (LMP)

The sky up here is also rather forbidding, foreboding expanse of blackness, with no stars visible when we're flying over the moon in daylight.

Bill Anders (LMP)

You can see by the numerous craters that this planet has been bombarded through the eons with numerous small asteroids and meteoroids pockmarking the surface every square inch.

Jim Lovell (CMP)

And one of the amazing features of the surface is the roundness that most of the craters—seems that most of them have a round mound type of appearance instead of sharp, jagged rocks.

Bill Anders (LMP)

Only the newest feature is of any sharp definition to them, and eventually they get eroded down by the constant bombardment of small meteorites.

Bill Anders (LMP)

How is the picture now, Houston? Houston, are you reading us?

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

Loud and clear, and the picture looks real fine.

Bill Anders (LMP)

Can you see the two large craters just to the right of our track, Houston?

Bill Anders (LMP)

The very bright features you see are the new impact craters, and the longer a crater has been on the surface of the moon, why, the more mottled and subdued it becomes. Some of the —

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

Apollo 8, we've apparently lost your voice; the picture is still good.

Jim Lovell (CMP)

Houston, we're passing over an area that's just east of the Smyth's Sea now, in checking our charts. Smyth's Sea is coming up in a few minutes.

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

Apollo 8, if you go to P00 and ACCEPT, we'll uplink some information.

Bill Anders (LMP)

We are now coming up towards the terminator, and I hope soon that we'll be able to show you the varying contrast of white as we go into the darkness. Houston, we're in P00, and you have the computer.

Bill Anders (LMP)

We're now approaching a series of small impact craters. There is a dark area between us and them which could possibly be an old lava flow.

Bill Anders (LMP)

You can see the large mountains on the horizon now ahead of the spacecraft to the north of our track.

Bill Anders (LMP)

The intensity of the sun's reflection in this area makes it difficult for us to distinguish the features we see on the surface, and I suppose it's even harder on the television, but as we approach the terminator and the shadows become longer, you'll see a marked change.

Bill Anders (LMP)

There is a very dark crater in the filling material in this valley in front of us now. It is rather unusual in that it is sharply defined, yet it's dark all over its interior walls, whereas most new-looking craters are of very bright interior.

Bill Anders (LMP)

Small impact crater in front of us now in the little mare well defined, quite new, and another one approaching. The spacecraft is facing North. From our track, we are going sideways to our left.

Bill Anders (LMP)

You are now seeing the Sea of Crises coming over the horizon.

Bill Anders (LMP)

We believe the crater, the large dark crater between the spacecraft and the Sea of Crises is Condorcet Crater. The Sea of Crises is amazingly smooth as far as the horizon and past this rather rough mountainous region in front of the spacecraft.

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

Apollo 8, we are through with the computer. You can go back to BLOCK, and it looks like we are getting a lot of reflection off your window now.

Bill Anders (LMP)

Roger. We'll switch windows; How does that look now, Ken?

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

Apollo 8, can you tell us which window you are looking out? And there is a large crater, looks like it is sticking up in the upper right hand corner of our picture. Can you identify that one?

Bill Anders (LMP)

Roger. We are just about to lose our lock; that is why we are slowing up a little bit. We see the Sea of Crises in front of us now. We are looking out the left hand rendezvous window.

Bill Anders (LMP)

Houston, how are you reading us now?

Bill Anders (LMP)

The crater you see on the horizon is the Sea of Crises. How are you reading us, Houston?

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

Loud and clear, Apollo 8, and we have a picture that is good.

Bill Anders (LMP)

Roger. We are getting a lot of static. The Sea of Crises is in front of us on the horizon, and the dark crater Picard can be seen in the middle. We are now breaking the moon's sunrise or the spacecraft's sunset. This is an area that the sun has just recently come up on the moon. The mare we are over now has a mottled look about it, but not very heavily cratered, so it must be relatively new. This is the Sea of Fertility, and we're coming upon a large crater, the delta rim variety; has a strange circular cracked pattern around the middle of it. The crater that you see now is about 30 or 40 miles across.

Bill Anders (LMP)

How is your picture quality, Houston?

Bill Anders (LMP)

There is an interesting rill directly in front of the spacecraft now, running along the edge of a small mountain; rather sinuous shape with right-angle turns.

Jim Lovell (CMP)

This area just to the west of the Sea of Crises is called the Marsh of Sleep and to the west of that the Sea of Tranquility.

Bill Anders (LMP)

Can you see the fracture patterns going across the mare in front of us now, Houston?

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

That doesn't quite stand out.

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Spoken on Dec. 25, 1968, 2:34 a.m. UTC (49 years, 10 months ago). Link to this transcript range is: Tweet

Bill Anders (LMP)

Key moment Reading from Genesis: Roger. The series of cracks or faults across the middle of the mare: they drop down in about three steps to the south. The parallel fault pattern to the north has a drop down in the center. I hope all of you back down on earth can see what we mean when we say that it is a rather foreboding horizon, a very rather dark and unappetizing looking place. We are now going over—approaching one of our future landing sites selected in this smooth region to—called the Sea of Tranquility—smooth in order to make it easy for the initial landing attempts in order to preclude the having to dodge mountains. Now you can see the long shadows of the lunar sunrise. We are now approaching the lunar sunrise, and for all the people back on earth, the crew of Apollo 8 has a message that we would like to send to you.

Bill Anders (LMP)

In the beginning, God created the Heaven and the Earth. And the Earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters, and God said, “let there be light.” And there was light. And God saw the light and that it was good, and God divided the light from the darkness.

Jim Lovell (CMP)

And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. And God said, “let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters. And let it divide the waters from the waters.” And God made the firmament and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament. And it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

Frank Borman (CDR)

And God said, “let the waters under the Heavens be gathered together into one place. And let the dry land appear.” And it was so. And God called the dry land Earth. And the gathering together of the waters called the seas. And God saw that it was good. And from the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas and God bless all of you—all of you on the good Earth.

Frank Borman (CDR)

Houston, how do you read? Apollo 8.

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

Loud and clear, Apollo 8. And thank you for a very good show. We have a maneuver PAD for you when you are ready to copy.

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

Apollo 8, read you loud and clear.

Frank Borman (CDR)

Roger. Are we off the air now?

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

That's affirmative, Apollo 8. You are.

Frank Borman (CDR)

Did you read everything that we had to say there?

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

Loud and clear. Thank you for a real good show.

Frank Borman (CDR)

Okay. Now, Ken, we'd like to get all squared away for TEI here. Can you give us some good words like you promised?

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

Yes, sir. I have a maneuver PAD. I think we would like to start by dumping the tape. If we can have that, I have your TEI 10 maneuver PAD, and then we will run through a systems brief.

Frank Borman (CDR)

I understand this is a maneuver PAD that we will use for TEI. Is that correct?

Bill Anders (LMP)

And you got the tape, Houston.

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

Roger. TEI 10, SPS/G&N: 45597, minus 040, plus 157 089:19:15.64, plus 35189, minus 01513, minus 00346 180 007 000, November Alfa plus 00186 35223 318 35019 42 0928 253, boresight star Scorpii Delta (another name for it is Dzuba) down 071, left 45, plus 0748 minus 16500 12995 36300 146:50:05; primary star Sirius, secondary, Rigel, 129 155 010; four quads, 15 second, ullage; horizon on the 2.9 window line at T minus 3; use high-speed procedure with minus Mike Alfa. Over.

Jim Lovell (CMP)

Okay. TEI PAD as follows: SPS/G&N: 45597, minus 040, plus 157 089:19:15.64, plus 35189, minus 01513, minus 00346 180 007 000, not applicable, plus 00186 35223 318 35019 42 0928 253, Scorpii Delta (Dzuba), down 071, left 45, plus 0748 minus 16500 12995 36300 146:50:05; Sirius, Rigel, 129 155 010; four quads, 15 seconds, 2.9-degree window line at TIG minus 3, high-speed procedure minus MA.

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

That's correct, Apollo 8.

Frank Borman (CDR)

Ken, this is Frank. I want to — I want to make one thing certain. This the load that we are to use to burn with, right? This is not just a PAD data for 10 abort?

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

Okay, Apollo 8. We will update this PAD prior to the burn.

Frank Borman (CDR)

Go ahead, Houston. Apollo 8.

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

Roger. I am reading you with a lot of background noise. Can you read me clearly?

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

Okay. I am going to give you a quick summary of systems. Basically, all systems are good. In respect to your return trajectory, we can still get to the mid-Pacific line at 146 hours by waiting as late as the thirteenth REV. After 138 seconds of the burn, you are on your way home. The weather in the recovery area looks good. Apollo 8, did you call?

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

Apollo 8, Houston. Could we have the high gain for a little bit longer?

Frank Borman (CDR)

We broke scan on it, Ken.

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

Okay. You are coming in loud and clear now. Did you copy my trajectory information?