Based on the original transcript

Apollo 8 was an ambitious mission of many firsts. Its three-man crew were the first humans to leave earth orbit, and the first to enter the gravitational field of another celestial body — the Moon. In doing so, they captured the imagination of the entire world, taking many now-iconic photographs (including "earthrise") and filming a Christmas Eve television broadcast during lunar orbit that was seen by an estimated quarter of all people alive in December 1968.

This site allows you to explore transcripts of radio communications between the Apollo 8 crew and the NASA personnel back at Houston. Included with the transcripts are photographs taken both from the ground and by the crew in space, as well as other information about this historic mission.

How the site works

The main textual content of this site comes from a transcript of radio communications between the crew and mission control; there are some limitations which stem from the original recordings.

Each line starts with a timestamp, in Ground Elapsed Time, which is the time (in days, hours, minutes and seconds or some subset for shorter missions or where we don't have timestamps down to the second) since lift off; photographs are shown inline at a suitable place. You can navigate through the transcript using the phases of the mission, and key scenes within them, or search for things that might interest you using the box at the top of the page. While browsing through the transcript, there are also links that take you to the same place in the original typescript.

You can help

This site can be improved, and you can help — whether by correcting remaining errors (although we hope there aren't many left), by adding more photos, or marking further glossary items. The easiest way to report small errors, suggest new photos and so forth, is by dropping us an email to

There are always other missions in the pipeline. If you'd like to help get them cleaned up and published, there's a simple guide to getting involved, or if you're more technical all our code, and the transcript files, is available on GitHub, where there is information on how to get up and running. (If you're up to it, you can even fork the repository, and issue a pull request to us when you're done.)

Find out how

The Team




Post-fort development

Data cleanup

  • David Woods
  • Frank O'Brien
  • George Brocklehurst
  • Greg Roodt
  • Jeremy Weatherford
  • Mick Boldon

A /dev/fort production; our work is available under the CC-0 licence.


Original transcripts


League Gothic


Joseph Wain of


Other images are from NASA or are otherwise in the public domain.

Other software