Transcript: Debrief: Apollo 8 | Apr 27, 1999

A full-screen caption reads "Apollo 8." Another reads "The Apollo Years."

Man Over Radio says THIS IS APOLLO 8 COMING TO
YOU LIVE FROM THE MOON.
IT HOLDS A DIFFERENT FRAME FOR
EACH ONE OF US.
I KNOW MY OWN IMPRESSION IS
IT'S A VAST, LONELY, FORSAKEN TYPE...

An Apollo rocket ignites and rises into the atmosphere. Below the image of
the flying rocket, three small frames show Mission Control, family and
other observers.
[Rocket launching]
[Epic music plays]

A split screen shows fire spurting from the base of a rocket and the letters
"U.S.A." on its side as it slowly rises. The red hot booster section ejects.
A three-way split screen shows the rocket ascending, the lander above the
surface of the Moon and an orbital view of the Moon.

John F. Kennedy says WE CHOOSE TO
GO TO THE MOON IN THIS DECADE,
AND DO THE OTHER THINGS, NOT
BECAUSE THEY ARE EASY, BUT
BECAUSE THEY ARE HARD.
[Radio chatter]

A voice says WELCOME TO THE MOON.
[music plays]
[Talking in background]
[music plays]

Different clips show the Moon landing. The footprint left on the powdery
Moon surface is prominently displayed. A split-screen caption reads "The
Apollo Years."

With a mock-up of the Moon Landing behind him, Marc Garneau, clean-shaven
in his forties, says I'M MARC GARNEAU, AND
THIS IS "THE APOLLO YEARS" WELCOME.
AFTER THE SUCCESS OF APOLLO 7'S
ORBIT AROUND THE EARTH, NASA
FELT A SURGE OF NEWFOUND OPTIMISM.
NOW, AMERICA WAS BACK IN THE
SPACE RACE AND HEADED TO THE MOON.
BUT THERE WERE TROUBLING
INDICATIONS THAT THE SOVIETS
WERE PLANNING ANOTHER FIRST, A
MANNED CIRCUMLUNAR FLIGHT.
APOLLO 8 WOULD HAVE TO BEAT
THEM TO THE MOON.
IN A BOLD MOVE, THE LAUNCH DATE
WAS SET JUST BEFORE CHRISTMAS.
IF ANYTHING WENT WRONG IT WOULD
BE A PUBLIC RELATIONS DISASTER.
ON DECEMBER 21, 1968, FRANK
BORMAN, JIM LOVELL AND WILLIAM
ANDERS BLASTED OFF.
THREE DAYS LATER WHEN THEY
DISAPPEARED BEHIND THE MOON AND
INTO RADIO SILENCE, WE ALL HELD
OUR BREATH WAITING FOR THEM TO
RE-EMERGE.
THE CHRISTMAS EVE BROADCAST WAS
SEEN BY MILLIONS OF VIEWERS
AROUND THE WORLD.
THREE ASTRONAUTS, A QUARTER OF
A MILLION MILES AWAY SIGNED OFF
SAYING "GOODNIGHT, GOOD LUCK, A
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND GOD BLESS
ALL OF YOU, ALL OF YOU ON THE
GOOD EARTH."
APOLLO 8 PROVED WE COULD REACH
THE MOON.
WE WERE ONE STEP CLOSER TO A
LUNAR LANDING.
AND NOW FROM THE NASA ARCHIVES,
"DEBRIEF APOLLO 8."

A moon rocket ignites.
[Rocket launching]
(Rocket engines roaring)

The Narrator says IF A MACHINE MAY
BE SAID TO BE BORN WHEN IT
FIRST PERFORMS A USEFUL
FUNCTION, THIS THEN IS THE
BIRTH OF A MACHINE AND THE
BEGINNING OF AN ACHIEVEMENT.
363 FEET TALL, WEIGHING JUST
UNDER, SIX AND A QUARTER
MILLION POUNDS...

The rocket stands in its hangar
[Dramatic music plays]

As the Narrator speaks, a fast clip shows images of all the components he
mentions.

The Narrator continues CAPABLE OF
180,000,000 HORSEPOWER, THE
FIRST STAGE ENGINES CAME FROM LOUISIANA.
THE SECOND STAGE CAME FROM
CALIFORNIA, AS DID THE THIRD.
THEY WERE PROVED OUT FOR THE
MISSION IN ALABAMA.
THE VEHICLE DESTINED TO MAKE
THE MOON TOUCHDOWN ON A LATER
APOLLO MISSION COMES FROM NEW YORK.
THE GUIDANCE AND NAVIGATION
EQUIPMENT WITHIN THE NARROW,
INSTRUMENT RING, GREW IN
WISCONSIN, WAS CHECKED IN
MASSACHUSETTS.
ELECTRO-MECHANICALS WITHIN THE
COMMAND AND SERVICE MODULES ARE
FROM FLORIDA.
DISPLAY SYSTEMS FROM NEW
HAMPSHIRE.
THE ASTRONAUTS' SPACESUITS ARE
FROM DELAWARE.
THE MISSION COMMANDER WAS BORN
IN INDIANA, GREW UP IN ARIZONA.
ON ITS MOON VOYAGE IT WILL BE
CONTROLLED FROM TEXAS, SERVICED
BY COMPUTERS IN MARYLAND,
SPLASH DOWN NEAR HAWAII.
THE GIANT CRAWLER ON WHICH IT
RIDES WAS MADE IN OHIO.
THE GENIUS AND SWEAT OF
LITERALLY THE ENTIRE NATION,
RIDE THE MISSION.
[Dramatic music plays]

The rocket appears on its gantry at night. It ignites and rises slowly.
(Rocket engines firing)
[Rocket launching]

The Narrator says THE DREAM OF MAN,
THE LONG, IMPOSSIBLE DREAM TO
REACH OUT TO THE MOON IS COMING TRUE.
THESE MEN WILL LEAD THE WAY.
COLONEL FRANK BORMAN.
NAVY CAPTAIN JIM LOVELL,
LIEUTENANT COLONEL BILL ANDERS.

The three are seen in space helmets.

The Narrator continues THE SUCCESSFUL CONCLUSION, THE
HAPPY ENDING IS HISTORY.
BUT GAPS REMAIN.
IMPORTANTLY, PART OF THE TASK
OF FILLING THOSE GAPS BELONGS
TO EACH INDIVIDUAL.
A SELF-DEBRIEFING, TO EVALUATE
THE LARGEST SIGNIFICANCE OF
THE EVENT, WHICH MIGHT HAVE
GONE UNNOTICED IN THE EXCITEMENT.
FOR SOME, THIS RE-EVALUATION
HAS ALREADY BEGUN.
Doctor NORMAN VINCENT PEALE.

Doctor Norman Vincent Peale says THE MISSION OF APOLLO 8 QUITE
APART FROM ITS SIGNIFICANT,
SCIENTIFIC MEANING, STIMULATED
AN IMMENSE REJUVENATION OF THE
SPIRIT OF MANKIND.
AND THAT SPIRIT NEEDED REJUVENATION.
A YEAR FEATURED BY TWO GRIM
ASSASSINATIONS, BY RIOTS, BY
RACIAL AND SOCIAL STRIFE, AND A
BAFFLING ATTEMPT TO END THE
WAR, LEFT MEN WITH A DULL,
SENSE OF FRUSTRATION.
THEN AT THE END OF SUCH A YEAR
CAME THE APOLLO 8, AN
INCREDIBLE ADVENTURE, WHEN
THREE INTRICATE SPIRITS
CIRCLED THE MOON, FASCINATING
THE IMAGINATION OF MAN.
THEIR WILLINGNESS TO STAKE
THEIR LIVES ON THE ENTERPRISE,
THE INFINITE PERFECTION OF
DETAIL, WHICH WORKED PRECISELY
AND THEIR DEEP, SPIRITUAL
UNDERSTANDING OF THE GREATER
WORLD IN WHICH GOD PRESIDES,
COMMUNICATED A NEW SENSE OF
MAN'S GREATNESS, AND GAVE THE
WORLD A FRESH SENSE OF MEANING.

The Narrator says Doctor NORMAN VINCENT PEALE.
PTOLEMY SUGGESTED THAT THE
EARTH MIGHT BE ROUND.
COLUMBUS GAVE A PRACTICAL
DEMONSTRATION OF THE FACT.
IF ANY LINGERING DOUBT REMAINS,
NOW MAN HAS SEEN WITH HIS OWN EYES.

[Static]
Man Over Radio says I HAVE A BEAUTIFUL VIEW OF THE...

Man Over Radio says OK.
[Beep]

Man Over Radio says ROGER.

The Narrator says THE S4-B IS THE
THIRD STAGE ROCKET ENGINE,
DROPLETS OF ITS VENTED FUEL
SCATTER AROUND IT.
THE SPEED OF THE SPACECRAFT
OUTWARD BOUND BRINGS US FACE TO
FACE WITH ANOTHER ACCELERATION,
A NEW FACT OF LIFE, HISTORIAN,
ARTHUR SCHLESINGER JR.

Arthur Schlesinger Junior says THE
SALIENT FACT OF OUR AGE IS THE
FANTASTIC SPEED-UP IN THE
VELOCITY OF HISTORY.
IT WAS AS RECENTLY AS 19-3 THAT
THE WRIGHT BROTHERS SOARED FOR
A MOMENT OVER THE SAND AT KITTY HAWK.
AND TODAY 65 YEARS LATER,
WITHIN THE SAME LIFETIME OF
MANY MEN, ASTRONAUTS FLY AROUND THE MOON.
AND NOW THE VELOCITY OF HISTORY
IS CARRYING US INTO A NEW PHASE
IN THE HUMAN ADVENTURE.
NO ONE KNOWS WHERE THIS NEW
PHASE WILL END... IN WHAT TRIUMPH
OR WHAT TRAGEDY, BUT IT IS
CLEAR THAT THE FLIGHT OF APOLLO
8 BEGINS A NEW EPIC IN THE
HISTORY OF MAN.

The Narrator says HISTORIAN, ARTHUR
SCHLESINGER JR.
PART OF BEGINNING AN EPIC IN
THE PRESENT INSTANCE IS KEEPING
HOUSE FOR SIX DAYS IN A SPACE
ABOUT THE SIZE OF THE BACKSEATS
OF THREE, STATION WAGONS,
PACKED FOR A FAMILY VACATION.
AS YOU WATCH MOTION PICTURES
TAKEN ON BOARD, YOU WILL HEAR
COMMENTS RELAYED TO HOUSTON ON
THE SAME SUBJECT.
[Static]

Man Over Radio says SO, HOW'S IT HANGING?

Man Over Radio says HOWDY, HOUSTON....
SQUARES FOR BREAKFAST.

Man Over Radio says ACTUALLY THEY KNOW YOUR...
THOUGHT IT MIGHT HELP.
[Beep]

Man Over Radio says OKAY, HOUSTON, FOLLOWING
YOUR CORRECTED THAT, WELL YOU
KNOW, WE HAVE ONE AND YOU
JUST TELL ME... MY NUGGET.
[music plays]

The Narrator says PART OF THE
ASTRONAUTS' WORKING GEAR IS A
HELMET HOLDING EARPHONES AND
MICROPHONE IN POSITION.
IT'S CALLED A "SNOOPY HAT."

Man Over Radio says IT'S GETTING PRETTY COLD
DOWN HERE NOW, HOUSTON.

Man Over Radio says JUST... A BIG, SEATBELT.
[Beep]

[Dialogue unintelligible]

[Dialogue unintelligible]

A large room is full of computers, technicians and scientists.

The Narrator says THIS IS MISSION CONTROL.
IT STANDS AS THE FIRST RANK OF
THE UNNUMBERED AND INNUMERABLE,
APOLLO TEAM.
FLIGHT CONTROLLERS MAN THE CONSOLES.
THEY WATCH A CONTINUING,
READOUT OF EVERY SYSTEM IN THE
CAPSULE, THREE SHIFTS AROUND THE CLOCK.
ALL FLIGHT CONTROLLERS SPEAK TO
THE ASTRONAUTS THROUGH ONE
VOICE, THE "CAPSULE COMMUNICATOR."
OF EACH SHIFT.
HE IS AN ASTRONAUT HIMSELF,
BEST SUITED TO SENSE THE NEEDS,
THE STRESSES, THE
PREOCCUPATIONS, THE ENVIRONMENT
OF THE MEN SO FAR AWAY.
THE LINE OF COMMUNICATIONS IS
SPREAD ROUND THE WORLD.
LAND BASES MUST BE SUPPLEMENTED
BY SHIPS, CARRYING THE SPECIAL,
EQUIPMENT NEEDED TO KEEP THE
CHANNELS OPEN.
AIRCRAFT BECOME FLYING
TRANSMITTORS AND RECEIVERS.
OTHER NATIONS HELP WITH DEEP
SPACE COMMUNICATIONS.
AUSTRALIANS JOIN THE TEAM IN
CANBERRA, SPANIARDS IN MADRID.
THE THIRD BASE IS IN CALIFORNIA.
MEN, WOMEN, AND MACHINES SPREAD
ROUND THE WORLD.
THIS TEAM IS KNIT BY FATE, AN
ACCEPTANCE OF RESPONSIBILITY
FOR PERFECT PERFORMANCE.
IT STRETCHES BACK THROUGH THE
RANKS TO EACH WORKMAN INVOLVED
IN AMERICAN INDUSTRY.
THEY KEPT FAITH IN A SPIRIT OF
DEDICATION TO EXCELLENCE.
THE SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION OF
THE MISSION IS A WITNESS TO HOW
THEY CAME THROUGH, AND, ONCE
ACHIEVED, THIS DEDICATION MAY BE
APPLIED IN OTHER DIRECTIONS.
HENRY FORD MADE COMMENT.

Henry Ford says THE COURAGEOUS
VOYAGE OF THE APOLLO 8
ASTRONAUTS HAS DONE MORE THAN
EXTEND OUR KNOWLEDGE OF THE UNIVERSE.
IT HAS ENLARGED THE SPIRIT OF MAN.
IF WE CAN SUCCESSFULLY
CHALLENGE THE MYSTERIES AND
DANGERS OF OUTER SPACE, SURELY
WE CAN MOVE CONFIDENTLY NOW TO
ACHIEVE A BETTER, MORE,
PEACEFUL LIFE FOR OUR FELLOW
HUMANS HERE AND THROUGHOUT THE
PLANET EARTH.

The Narrator says MISTER HENRY FORD.
NOT ALL GIANT EYES AND EARS ON
EARTH ARE TURNED TOWARD THE SPACECRAFT.
THE SENSING MACHINES OF THE
SPACE PARTICLE ALERT NETWORK,
FACE THE SUN.
FROM OUR LIFE-GIVING SUN
STREAMS A HAIL OF INFINITELY
SMALL PIECES OF MATTER.
ON EARTH WE ARE SHIELDED FROM
THEM BY OUR CLOAK OF ATMOSPHERE
AND OUR MAGNETOSPHERE... THE
INTEGUMENT OF VAN ALLEN BELTS.
THE MEN AND WOMEN OF S.P.A.N.
MONITOR SUN SPOT AND SOLAR
FLARE ACTIVITY LOOKING FOR
CLUES TO AN IMMINENT RISE IN
THE STREAM OF POTENTIALLY
HAZARDOUS, SPACE PARTICLES.
THE TEAM GROWS WIDER, DEEPER,
STRONGER.
[music plays]

The Narrator says HISTORY REPEATS
ITSELF IN PARAPHRASE.
THIS IS THE SHOT SEEN ROUND THE WORLD.
THIS IS THE FIRST SHOT OF
EARTH, LIVE ON TELEVISION.

A blurry shot of a bright object bears the caption "Live from Spacecraft."
it is followed by images of the astronauts moving around their cramped
quarters. With the receding Earth in the background, an odometer shows the
rapidly increasing distance, reading "176,600 odd miles from Earth."
[Static]

The Narrator says THE MISSION WAS
CONDUCTED IN THE PLAIN SIGHT OF
THE ENTIRE WORLD, LITERALLY.

Man Over Radio says HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOTHER.

The Narrator says BACK IN 1961, WHEN
APOLLO GOALS WERE FIRST SET,
PRESIDENT KENNEDY SAID,
WHATEVER MANKIND MUST UNDERTAKE
ALL MEN MUST FREELY SHARE.
APOLLO 8 REMAINED TRUE TO THAT PLEDGE.
ON TELEVISION IT GAVE US A NEW
LOOK AT THE MOON AND A NEW LOOK
AT OURSELVES.
THIS IS THOMAS J. WATSON JUNIOR.

Thomas J. Watson says TEN
YEARS AGO IT SEEMED PROBABLE
THAT RUSSIA WOULD MAKE THIS
FLIGHT BEFORE US, AND WOULD
MAKE A MOON LANDING FIRST AS WELL.
WITH THE APOLLO 8 FLIGHT IT
BECOMES OBVIOUS THAT WE HAVE
MOVED INTO THE LEAD.

Watson says WE CAN
BE THANKFUL THAT THE UNITED
STATES HAS SHOWN THE WORLD ONCE
AGAIN, THAT IT CAN ACCOMPLISH
ANY TASKS IT DECIDES UPON.

The Narrator says THOMAS J. WATSON
JUNIOR, CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD OF I.B.M.
DIRECT FROM THE DEEP-SPACE
TRACKING ANTENNA IN MADRID,
THESE PICTURES WERE PASSED
ALONG TO THE EUROVISION NETWORK.
TO LONDON, PARIS, ROME, WEST
GERMANY, SCANDINAVIA.

An old black and white clip reads "Live TV pictures of Moon surface from
Apollo 8."

The Narrator says THEY WERE SEEN IN
WARSAW, PRAGUE, IN MOSCOW.
CITIZEN OF THE WORLD, WINNER OF
THE NOBEL PRIZE FOR PEACE, Doctor
RALPH BUNCH.

Doctor Ralph Bunch says APOLLO 8
AND THOSE STOUT-HEARTED,
ASTRONAUTS HAVE GIVEN TO
MANKIND A NEW AND LIMITLESS
PERSPECTIVE IN THE UNIVERSE.
AND TO THE EARTH, AN ADDED
DIMENSION OF PROXIMITY AND
NEIGHBOURLINESS...
IN THE SOLAR SYSTEM.
THE EPIC FLIGHT OF APOLLO 8 IN
CRACKING THE MOON BARRIER,
DEMONSTRATES THAT MAN NOW HAS
THE CAPABILITY TO SOAR AS HIGH
AND AS FAR AS HIS DREAMS MAY PROJECT.

A clip taken through the Moon orbiter window shows the cratered surface.

The Narrator says Doctor RALPH BUNCH OF
THE UNITED NATIONS.

[Static]

Man Over Radio says OKAY, THERE, HOUSTON.
WE'RE LOOKING AT THE...
NO COLOURS.
IT LOOKS LIKE BLACK... UP HERE
ALL RIGHT...

The Narrator says CHRISTMAS EVE.
THE DATE OF A MISSION IS
DICTATED BY LAUNCH WINDOWS,
WHICH OPEN AND CLOSE IN A LONG CYCLE.
IF YOU MISS ONE, YOU WAIT.
THE DECEMBER WINDOW OPENED THE
21ST, CLOSED THE 27TH.
SO, THE DATE AND HOUR OF THE
APOLLO 8 MISSION WAS REALLY
DETERMINED BILLIONS OF YEARS
AGO WHEN THE CELESTIAL CLOCK
WAS FIRST SET IN MOTION.
IT TIMED OUT TO THE CHRISTMAS SEASON.
BOB HOPE REPORTED A VIETNAM REACTION.

Bob Hope says ALL JOY.
BELIEVE ME, ALL JOY.
THE MEN I SPENT CHRISTMAS WITH
HAVE A LOT ON THEIR MINDS, BUT
THE APOLLO 8 TRIP, TURNED OUT
TO BE AS IMPORTANT AS ANYTHING.
WHAT THE THREE ASTRONAUTS DID
RUBBED OFF ON A LOT OF GUYS.
EVERYBODY GREW A LITTLE TALLER,
AND THAT WAS DOUBLE IF YOU WERE
AWAY FROM HOME.
AND I THINK IT'LL BE MONTHS
BEFORE WE KNOW HOW MUCH IT
MEANT TO ALL OF US AND ALL THE
PEOPLE OF THE WORLD. BOB HOPE.

The Narrator says IT WAS CHRISTMAS
ON EARTH, AND ON THE MOON.
[Eerie clanging music plays]

A clip shows views of the barren Moon landscape.

[Static]
[Dialogue unintelligible]

[Dialogue unintelligible]

The Narrator says WASTELAND,
DESOLATE, INHOSPITABLE,IN
UNREMITTING PROCESSION.
THE APPARENT SPEED AT WHICH YOU
SEE THESE PICTURES IS NOT REAL TIME.
ONLY A TECHNICAL CAMERA WAS
CARRIED ON THE MISSION.
ALTITUDE, ABOUT 70 MILES SHOT
WITH A LONG LENS.
[music plays]

[Static]

Man Over Radio says ALL RIGHT I THINK I CAN GRAB
A... IT'S BEEN A MIGHTY LONG RIDE DOWN HERE.
[Dialogue unintelligible]

Man Over Radio says I CAN SEE THE... ON THE...
[Beep]
[music plays]

The Narrator says THIS FILM WAS
TAKEN THROUGH AN OPTICAL
SIGHTING INSTRUMENT ON BOARD
THE SPACECRAFT.
TWO, SEPARATE IMAGES CONVERGE
ON A SINGLE EYEPIECE.
IT WAS INTENDED ONLY FOR SPACE
NAVIGATION.
NAVIGATION IN SPACE REQUIRES
THREE DIMENSIONS INSTEAD OF TWO.
SCIENTIFIC SEXTET OBSERVATIONS
MADE ON APOLLO 8 WERE A
PRACTICAL, POTENTIALLY, VITAL
GATHERING OF SCIENTIFIC DATA.
TAKING THE LONGER VIEW OF THE
SCIENTIFIC VALUE OF THE
MISSION, COMMENT WAS MADE BY
Doctor LEO GOLDBERG, ASTRONOMER.

Doctor Leo Goldberg says I BELIEVE
THE APOLLO 8 MISSION WILL
ULTIMATELY PROVE TO BE OF
ENORMOUS SCIENTIFIC IMPORTANCE,
AS A VITAL STEP THAT HAD TO BE
TAKEN BEFORE MEN ACTUALLY LAND
ON THE MOON.
ONCE THEY DO, THE EXPLORATION
OF THE MOON IS BOUND TO GIVE US
CRUCIAL INFORMATION ON HOW THE
MOON AND OTHER BODIES IN THE
SOLAR SYSTEM WERE FORMED.
FURTHERMORE, THE MISSION PROVED
THAT WE NOW HAVE THE CAPABILITY
TO MOVE LARGE AND COMPLICATED,
SCIENTIFIC EQUIPMENT AROUND IN
SPACE, AND TO DEPLOY IT ALMOST
ANYWHERE WE WISH TO IN THE
SPACE BETWEEN THE EARTH AND THE MOON.
I FIND THIS TO BE A VERY,
THRILLING PROSPECT, INDEED.
BUT NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS IN
THE FUTURE, THE VOYAGE OF
APOLLO 8 WILL BE LOOKED BACK
UPON AS A MISSION THAT PROVED
WE COULD REALLY OPERATE IN
SPACE ON A LARGE SCALE.

The Narrator says ASTRONOMER, LEO
GOLDBERG OF HARVARD UNIVERSITY.
[Eerie music plays]

The Narrator says THE CONDITION OF
ZERO GRAVITY, WHEN YOU GET
ACCUSTOMED TO IT, HAS SOME VERY
PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS.
[music plays]

The Narrator says THE COMMAND MODULE
ON APOLLO 8, SERIAL NUMBER 103,
DID NOT CHANGE AT CHRISTMAS,
BUT THERE WAS TALK OF REINDEER
AND SANTA CLAUS.

[Static]

Man Over Radio says ALL RIGHT, I BELIEVE WE'RE...
REINDEER...
[Beep]
[Dialogue unintelligible]

Man Over Radio says YOU'D BETTER WATCH THAT...
OLD BOY.

Man Over Radio says I'LL THINK ABOUT IT.

Man Over Radio says YOU'D BETTER THINK REAL,
HARD, JIM....
SAYS YOU'D BETTER PUT
DOWN THE...
[Dialogue unintelligible]
[Beep]

[Epic music plays]

A photo shows a giant Moon impact crater

Man Over Radio says IN THE BEGINNING, GOD
CREATED THE HEAVEN AND THE EARTH.
AND THE EARTH WAS A ROUGH FORM
AND A VOID, AND DARKNESS WAS
UPON THE FACE OF THE DEEP.
AND THE SPIRIT OF GOD MOVED
UPON THE FACE OF THE WATER AND
GOD SAID, "LET THERE BE LIGHT,"
AND THERE WAS LIGHT.
AND GOD SAW THE LIGHT.
THAT IT WAS GOOD, AND GOD DIVIDED
THE LIGHT FROM THE DARKNESS.
[music plays]

Man Over Radio says THEN GOD ALL THE WAY... AND
LET THERE BE NO LIGHT AND HE...
WITH THE FIRST DAY.
AND GOD SAID LISTEN HERE... AND SPOKE OF WATER
[Dialogue unintelligible]

Man Over Radio says AND LET THE... WATERS...
OVER US, AND GOD... RAINED UPON
US...
[Dialogue unintelligible]

Man Over Radio says AND THE NATURAL WATER... THE
WATER... THE WATER WHICH WAS...
AND LET THE DRY LAND APPEAR, AND IT WAS SO....
IN THE EVENING AND THE MORNING OF THE SECOND DAY.
[music plays]

Man Over Radio says AND GOD SAID LET THE WATER
FROM HEAVEN BECAUSE IT IS
TOGETHER IN ONE PLACE.
AND LET THE DRY LAND APPEAR AS
A RESULT.
AND GOD CALLED THE DRY LAND EARTH.
AND THE EARTH IS... OF THE
WATER...
AND GOD SAW THAT IT WAS GOOD.
AND FROM THE CREW OF APOLLO 8
WE BODE A GOODNIGHT, GOOD LUCK,
A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND GOD BLESS
ALL OF YOU, ALL OF YOU ON THE
GOOD EARTH.
[music plays]

A clip shows a half-Earth rising above the horizon of the Moon. The Moon
slowly recedes.

The Narrator says ISAAC ASIMOV IS A
PROFESSOR OF BIOCHEMISTRY AND A
PROLIFIC WRITER OF SCIENCE FICTION.
FOR MANY YEARS HE'S BEEN
THINKING IN TERMS OF AN EARTH
TO MOON TO EARTH TREK.
ASIMOV HAS A SPECIAL POINT OF VIEW.

Isaac Asimov says THE FEAT OF
APOLLO 8 IS OF PECULIAR
INTEREST TO MYSELF, BECAUSE IT
PLACES ME IN THE UNACCUSTOMED
POSITION OF BEING OVER-CONSERVATIVE.
IN 1939, I WROTE A STORY
DESCRIBING IN ESSENCE THIS FLIGHT.
I PLACED IT IN 1973.
I SUPPOSE IF SOMEONE HAD ASKED
ME THEN, "DO YOU REALLY SUPPOSE
PEOPLE WILL FLY AROUND THE MOON
AND BACK TO EARTH BY 1973?,"
I WOULD HAVE ANSWERED NOT
REALLY, BUT IT MAKES A GOOD STORY.
WELL, THEY DID IT IN 1968, AND
I AM MORE HAPPY THAN I CAN SAY.

an image bears the caption "View of Earth from Apollo 8."

The Narrator says ISAAC ASIMOV
STANDS WITH ONE FOOT IN THE
WORLD OF SCIENCE, AND ONE FOOT
IN FANTASY, TO TAKE A FICTIONAL
LOOK AT THE FUTURE, AND UNDERESTIMATES.
WITH BOTH FEET IN THE PRACTICAL
WORLD... IT NOW INCLUDES OUTER SPACE.
A COMMENT FROM THE RETURNING
SPACE CAPSULE DURING A TV
TRANSMISSION STARTS US OFF IN
ANOTHER DIRECTION.

[Static]
[Beep]
[Dialogue unintelligible]

Man Over Radio says WELL FROM THE LAYOUT OF
ANOTHER PLANET, WHAT DO I THINK
ABOUT THE EARTH...
WHETHER I THINK THERE'S
INHABITANTS OR NOT.

The Narrator says FRIDAY, DECEMBER
THE 27TH, REENTRY, SPLASHDOWN, ACQUISITION, RECOVERY.
THE LAST 15 MINUTES OF THE
FLIGHT BEGAN AT A SPEED OF
ALMOST 25,000 MILES AN HOUR.
THEN, ONLY FIVE MILES FROM THE
APPOINTED RENDESVOUS IN THE
PACIFIC IT ENDED, SPEED ZERO.
[Dramatic music plays]

The Narrator says IF A MACHINE MAYBE
SAID TO BE BORN WHEN IT
PERFORMS A USEFUL FUNCTION,
PERHAPS IT IS SAID TO DIE WHEN
THAT FUNCTION IS FULFILLED.
AND HAVING DIED, IT WILL BE ENSHRINED
NEXT TO ITS STILL YOUNG
ANCESTORS, THE AIRCRAFT OF
ORVILLE AND WILBUR WRIGHT...
LINDBERGH'S SPIRIT OF ST. LOUIS.
BUT THIS IS NOT AN END... FAR
FROM IT.
IT IS PART OF A MUCH LONGER PLAN.
[Dramatic music plays]

An astronaut tries out an individual "flying frame."

The Narrator says IT HAS BEEN
ESTIMATED THAT AT SOME TIME OR
ANOTHER DURING THE FLIGHT OF
APOLLO 8, OVER ONE BILLION
PEOPLE ALL OVER THE FACE OF THE
GLOBE WERE TUNED INTO THE
SPACECRAFT BY TELEVISION OR RADIO.
THE EXPERIENCE WAS MOST WIDELY SHARED.

A clip shows the returning astronauts.
[music plays]
[Applause]
[music plays]
[Audience applauding]
[music plays]

The Narrator says THE ASTRONAUTS
RETURNED TO THE WORLD OF MEN,
BUT THERE'S MORE.
A WEEK TO THE DAY AFTER THE
APOLLO 8 SPLASHED DOWN, ANOTHER
APOLLO SPACECRAFT HAD TAKEN UP
ITS POSITION ON PAD 39 AT CAPE KENNEDY.
THE COUNTDOWNS BY CALENDAR AND
CLOCK HAVE BEGUN TO BRING IT TO
THE SAME MOMENT AT WHICH WE
FIRST SAW THIS APOLLO 8, THE
NIGHT BEFORE IT WAS BORN.
AS LAUNCH WINDOWS OPEN AND
CLOSE, THE NEXT MISSIONS MOVE FORWARD.
TWO TEST FLIGHTS OF THE LUNAR
LANDING VEHICLE, AND THEN THE
PROPOSED LANDING ON THE MOON.
AND PLANS ARE IN THE MAKING
NOW, WHICH INCLUDE FLY-BYS OF
OTHER PLANETS, VISITS TO WHAT
Doctor BUNCH CALLS NEIGHBOURS.
ERIC HOFFER IS A WRITER, UNTIL
RECENTLY A WORKING
LONGSHOREMAN, WHO'S DEEP
INSIGHTS INTO THE NATURE OF MAN
HAVE STIRRED THE THINKING OF MANY.
LET ME QUOTE ERIC HOFFER'S WORDS.
"I ALWAYS FELT THAT MAN IS A
STRANGER ON THIS PLANET, A TOTAL STRANGER.
I ALWAYS PLAYED WITH THE FANCY
THAT MAYBE A CONTAGION FROM
OUTER SPACE WAS THE SEED OF MAN.
HENCE OUR PREOCCUPATION WITH
HEAVEN, WITH THE SKY, WITH THE
STARS, WITH A GOD, WHO IS
SOMEWHERE OUT THERE IN OUTER SPACE.
IT'S A KIND OF "HOMING IMPULSE."
WE ARE DRAWN TO WHERE WE CAME
FROM, AND I AM JUST TICKLED TO
DEATH THAT THIS THING IS BEING
DONE BY SQUARES.
YOU KNOW, BY AVERAGE AMERICANS.
NOT BY THESE PRETENTIOUS
INTELLECTUALS, BECAUSE THIS IS
THE GREAT GENIUS OF THE AVERAGE AMERICANS.
THEY TAKE SOMETHING MOMENTOUS
AND MAKE AN "UNMOMENTOUS" THING
OUT OF IT.
AND BY THE TIME THEY ARE
THROUGH WITH IT, TRAVELLING
INTO SPACE, INTO THE DISTANT
STARS WILL BECOME ROUTINE.
THIS IS WHY AMERICA IS AN
AMBIGUITY IN THE WORLD, BECAUSE
WE MAKE IT SO THAT THERE ARE NO
EXCEPTIONAL PERSONS REQUIRED TO
DO ANYTHING.

The N.A.S.A. logo briefly appears.
[music plays]

a full-screen caption reads "Next Time,,, Apollo 9. The Apollo Years."

[Silence]
[Dialogue unintelligble]
[Beep]

Man Over Radio says OKAY, EIGHT ON THE LIST.

Man Over Radio sings and says "HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR
CHRISTOPHER
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU"
[Beep]

Man Over Radio says THAT WAS MAGNIFICENT.
YOU MAY EVEN OVERSHADOW THE
RENDESVOUS WITH PERFORMANCES
LIKE THAT.
[Beep]
[Theme music plays]

Against a shoe making the famous footprint on the powdery surface of the Moon,
the end credits roll.
(Theme music plays)

Executive Producer, Rudy Buttignol.

Producer, Murray Battle.

Host, Marc Carneau

Editor, Michael Morningstar.

Footage courtesy of Johnson Space Center Jet Propulsion Lab.

Deep Space. TV Ontario 2004.

Canadian Space Agency and York University.

A Production of TV Ontario. 1997

[Dialogue unintelligble]

Man Over Radio says ... WE
CAME, AND GOD WILLING, WE SHALL
RETURN IN PEACE AND HOPE FOR ALL MANKIND.
GOD SPEED THE CREW OF APOLLO 17.

Man Over Radio says WE'RE ARRIVED.
WE'RE ARRIVED.

[Beep]

Watch: Debrief: Apollo 8