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?

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.

Expand selection up Contract selection down Close
Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

Okay. We will do that. When you get in the PTC attitude, we will let you know when we take the command on the antenna switching.

Expand selection down Contract selection up

Spoken on Dec. 25, 1968, 7:05 a.m. UTC (51 years, 6 months ago). Link to this transcript range is: Tweet

Frank Borman (CDR)

Okay. Just be careful what you do with the tape recorder. Bill's a little sensitive about that.

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

Roger. We were listening to the tape dumps, and it looks like Bill gets a happy new year after all.

Frank Borman (CDR)

A happy new year? How come, Jack—an, in a joke?

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

No, we got that off of his tape dump; he and Jim were discussing that one.

Frank Borman (CDR)

Oh, yes. That's right.

Frank Borman (CDR)

Houston, are you getting all this data from P23?

Frank Borman (CDR)

I wanted to know if you're getting the data from P23?

Frank Borman (CDR)

Ken, we've about run out of gas here on this next set of stars. Would you ask your people to be especially alert there watching the systems tonight?

Frank Borman (CDR)

Okay. It's maneuver to pitch 10 and yaw 45.

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

Roger. I have—let's see, we've got a hydrogen purge line here that ought to come on about 91:40 and an oxygen-hydrogen fuel cell purge for 92 hours.

Frank Borman (CDR)

Okay. Will you call us about those, please?

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

I sure will. And, let's see, we just wanted to let you know we've got a real good battery charge going here this time. Looks like—it looks just like the ones in the book, and I'd like to get a battery C voltage before you shut down, and a sleep report on what you did in —

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

— lunar orbit and your plans for the next couple of hours.

Frank Borman (CDR)

Thirty-seven volts on battery C.

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

Roger. Thirty-seven volts.

Frank Borman (CDR)

We all only got about 2 hours sleep today MAX, Ken. We're going now—Bill's going to stay up awhile, and Jim and I are going to sack out, and we're going to try to rotate short sleep cycles till we can get back to the normal one.

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

Roger, sounds like a good idea. And EECOM on the ground tells us that the flying EECOM is to go ahead and put his hydrogen purge line heater on, and we'll get ready for a fuel cell.

Frank Borman (CDR)

Thank you. He can't turn on his radio. There he goes.

Frank Borman (CDR)

I hope it won't disappoint anybody too much if we knock off those last two stars, but Jim is just in a daze, and so am I.

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

Apollo 8. One of the things we'd like to have before you shut down also is VERB 64 so we can watch the pointing angles.

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

Hey, Frank, you might be interested; they are having some trouble with the medics' P-2.

Bill Anders (LMP)

The medics can't clean out their P-2.

Frank Borman (CDR)

Oh, is that right? It's been so busy.

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

Oh, yeah. It's worn the thing out at the bearings. (Laughter)

Frank Borman (CDR)

Hey, Ken, tell the people if you see anything getting close to the gimbal lock to be sure and whistle, too, will you?

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

We sure will, Frank. You will want to make sure one of you keeps your COMM carrier on.

Frank Borman (CDR)

We'll keep one man with a headset on.

Frank Borman (CDR)

That's right. We'll keep one man with a COMM carrier on.

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

Apollo 8. You have got some big yaw angle there.

Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)

Apollo 8, Apollo 8, Houston.