This official NASA document - converted for accurate flowing-text ebook format reproduction - provides the complete transcription of the historic Apollo 8 post-flight debriefing given by astronauts Frank Borman (Commander), William A. Anders (Lunar Module Pilot), and James A. Lovell Jr. (Command Module Pilot). Every aspect of the first manned flight to the moon is discussed from launch to landing. This is an invaluable addition to the ebook library of anyone interested in the Apollo moon landings.
Contents include: INGRESS AND STATUS CHECKS * POWERED FLIGHT * FLIGHT OPERATIONS * LANDING AND RECOVERY * SYSTEMS OPERATION * VISUAL SIGHTINGS * PREMISSION PLANNING * MISSION CONTROL * TRAINING * CONCLUDING COMMENTS
Apollo 8 launched from Cape Kennedy on Dec. 21, 1968, placing astronauts Frank Borman, James Lovell Jr. and William Anders into a 114 by 118 mile parking orbit at 32.6 degrees.
During the 20-hour period in lunar orbit, the crew conducted a full, sleepless schedule of tasks including landmark and landing site tracking, vertical stereo photography, stereo navigation photography and sextant navigation. At the end of the 10th lunar orbit, at 89 hours, 19 minutes, and 16 seconds, a three-minute, 23-second trans-Earth injection burn was conducted, adding 3,522 feet per second. Only one midcourse correction, a burn of five feet per second conducted at 104 hours, was required instead of the three scheduled.
Six telecasts were conducted during the mission: two during translunar coast, two during lunar orbit and two during trans-Earth coast. These transmissions were telecast worldwide and in real time to all five continents. During a telecast on Christmas Eve, the crew read verses from the first chapter of Genesis and wished viewers, "Good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas and God bless all of you -- all of you on the good Earth." All telecasts were of excellent quality. Voice communications also were exceptionally good throughout the mission.
Separation of the command module, or CM, from the SM occurred at 146 hours, 31 minutes. A double-skip maneuver conducted during the re-entry steering phase resulted in an altitude gain of 25,000 to 30,000 feet. The re-entry velocity was 24,696 mph, with heatshield temperatures reaching 5,000 degrees F. Parachute deployment and other re-entry events were nominal. Apollo 8 splashed down in the Pacific Ocean at 10:51 a.m. EST Dec. 27. The splashdown was about 5,100 yards from the recovery ship USS Yorktown, 147 hours after launch and precisely on time. According to prior planning, helicopters and aircraft hovered over the spacecraft, and pararescue personnel were not deployed until local sunrise, 50 minutes after splashdown. The Apollo 8 crew reached the recovery ship at 12:20 p.m. EST.