USS Yorktown awaits Apollo 8's splashdown! Borman reports moon made of American cheese!

Nine hundred miles southwest of Hawaii at 9:31 AM (Houston time), the USS Yorktown (CV-10) awaited the splashdown of Apollo 8 just off Kingman Reef and Palmyra Atoll. Unlike previous missions, the Apollo missions would return to earth at the speed of 25,000 miles per hour. They would need a nominal reentry angle of 6.4 [...]

Christmas Eve and orbiting the Moon

At 2:55 AM (Houston time) Apollo 8 was go for LOI (Lunar Orbit Insertion) burn. After travelling 234,000 miles the crew of Apollo 8 were about to go into a 69 mile orbit of the moon which called for amazing navigational precison only possible with help from Houston control.  The simulator joke back home was [...]

Apollo 8 enters lunar gravitational field

Apollo 8 began to speed up as it entered the moon’s gravitational field today. Capcom Jerry Carr asked the astronauts what they could see and Bill Anders  responded, “Nothing. It’s like being  on the inside of a submarine.” Interestingly, the astronauts would not see the moon until they began to orbit the moon. Their angle [...]

Forty years ago!

At 7:51 AM on 21 December 1968, a vehicle over 363 feet high leapt into the sky. The beast burnt 20 tons of fuel per second. More in one second by ten times what Charles Lindberg used in the first non-stop flight across the Atlantic from New York to Paris in 1927. Onboard Apollo 8 [...]