Bill Anders (LMP)

Go ahead, Houston. Apollo 8.

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

Okay. If you'll go to P00 and ACCEPT, we'll update the REFSMMAT, and I have some backup GDC angles for the new entry REFSMMAT.

Bill Anders (LMP)

Roger. Understand; P00 and ACCEPT, and you'll give us the new REFSMMAT.

Bill Anders (LMP)

Okay. Houston, you have the ACCEPT.

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

Roger. Your backup GDC alignment: roll 308, pitch 209, yaw 357. Over.

Bill Anders (LMP)

Roger. Alright. What set of stars?

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

That's on Sirius and Rigel.

Bill Anders (LMP)

Understand; roll 308, pitch 209, yaw 357.

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

That's affirmative, Apollo 8.

Deke Slayton

Good morning, Apollo 8; Deke here. I just would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas on behalf of everyone in the Control Center, and I'm sure everyone around the world. None of us ever expected to have a better Christmas present than this one. Hope you get a good night's sleep from here on and enjoy your Christmas dinner tomorrow; and look forward to seeing you in Hawaii on the twenty-eighth.

Frank Borman (CDR)

Okay, leader. We'll see you there. That was a very, very nice ride, that last one; this engine is the smoothest one.

Deke Slayton

Yes, we gathered that; an outstanding job all the way around.

Frank Borman (CDR)

Thank everybody on the ground for us. It's pretty clear we wouldn't be anywhere if we didn't have them doing it or helping us out here.

Bill Anders (LMP)

Even Mr. Kraft does something right once in a while.

Deke Slayton

He got tired of waiting for you to talk and went home.

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

Okay. The computer is yours, and I guess we have an IMU alignment and a P23 on the schedule.

Frank Borman (CDR)

Okay. Thank you. Do an IMU alignment coming up. See them in black.

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

Apollo 8, Houston. We would like to have you cycle your ZERO OPTICS switch prior to beginning P52.

Frank Borman (CDR)

Roger. We are going to see if we can find some stars here before we do this P52.

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

Roger. And got a couple of words for you. Jack's been watching you since LOI, and he has a few words he wants to give you.

Jack Schmitt

Key moment Jack Schmitt reads “The Night Before Christmas”: Typhoid Jack here, and we have got some good words here that originated at the Cape with a bunch of friends of yours. And it's sort of in a paraphrase of a poem that you probably are familiar with. Do you read me, Apollo 8?

Frank Borman (CDR)

You are loud and clear, Jack.

Jack Schmitt

Okay.

“'Twas the night before Christmas and way out in space,
the Apollo 8 crew had just won the moon race;
The headsets were hung by the consoles with care,
In hopes that Chris Kraft soon would be there;
Frank Borman was nestled all snug in his bed,
While visions of REFSMMAT's danced in his head;
And Jim Lovell, in his couch, and Anders, in the bay,
were racking their brains over a computer display,
When out of the DSKY, there arose such a clatter,
Frank sprang from his bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the sextant he flew like a flash,
To make sure they weren't going to crash.
The light on the breast of the moon's jagged crust,
Gave a luster of green cheese to the gray lunar dust,
When what to his wondering eyes should appear,
But a Burma Shave sign saying 'Kilroy was here.'

(Laughter)

But Frank was no fool; he knew pretty quick,
That they had been first; this must be a trick.
More rapid than rockets, his curses they came,
He turned to his crewmen and called them a name.
Now Lovell, now Anders, now don't think I'd fall
For an old joke you've written up on the wall.
They spoke not a word, but grinning like elves,
And laughed at their joke in spite of themselves.
Frank sprang to his couch, to the ship gave a thrust,
And away they all flew past the gray lunar dust.
But we heard them explain ere they flew around the moon:
Merry Christmas to earth; we will be back there real soon.”

Great job, gang.

Frank Borman (CDR)

Thank you very much. That was a very good poem; but in order to win the race, you have got to end up on the carriers.

Jack Schmitt

We will see you there.

Jim Lovell (CMP)

Hey, Jack. You really got Bill trained. (Laughter)

Jack Schmitt

I certainly hope so.

Jack Schmitt

You did pretty well, Jim.

Jack Schmitt

You must have talked on the way out there. (Laughter)

Frank Borman (CDR)

Houston, this is Apollo 8.

Frank Borman (CDR)

Roger. We got an alignment with your new REFSMMAT now. What's on the program here? You want us in P23 and then what?

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

Looks like some sleep is coming up.

Frank Borman (CDR)

That's what I wanted you to say. We used up the gimbal angles of 10 and 45 with the—this REFSMMAT, right?

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

Affirmative.

Expand selection up Expand selection down Close

Spoken on Dec. 25, 1968, 6:58 a.m. UTC (49 years, 7 months ago). Link to this transcript range is: Tweet

Frank Borman (CDR)

Go ahead, Houston. Apollo 8.

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

Roger. Notice that you are starting on your P23 which is the last scheduled activity. Initial tracking looks like the initial midcourse may be less than the 4 foot per second on the first guess. And we have looked at your burn data, and it's all just as smooth as you said; everything on there looked real nominal. Systems now look good; looks like in PTC attitude, we should be able to switch OMNI's for you, if you would like to do that. We were having good success with predicting on the way out where to switch the antennas, and if it will help you any, we can do that on the way back in.

Frank Borman (CDR)

That would be nice if you could do it, but we will keep one man in the shop to watch the gimbal angles; but if you could switch the OMNI's, it would sure save us a lot of problems.