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.

Expand selection up Expand selection down Close

Spoken on Dec. 25, 1968, 2:46 a.m. UTC (49 years, 9 months ago). Link to this transcript range is: Tweet

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?