Apollo 8 in Goddard News 13 January 1969
Hamish Lindsay writes:
The Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, our technical and engineering managers, published a regular newsletter called Goddard News, and the copy following the Apollo 8 mission was full of the success of the mission, and featured the three 26 metre stations in a full-page centre spread.
The Goddard Public Affairs Office sent their representative,
Don Witten, to Honeysuckle Creek to cover the mission, and he did us
proud, giving us a bigger coverage than Goldstone.
Don Witten arrived with cameras and three cartons of film, mostly the then new 70mm cassette format, which exposed 50 frames per roll.
Like any good American he scoured the station to find a pretty girl, (Jenny Hame, top) photographed her in front of the antenna, and used it to head the article about us.
The article gives an idea of the atmosphere of the time:
So that was how our temporary American publicity officer saw the mission.
Under Station Director Danny Hunter (who was the leader of the flight control team for Gemini III at Carnarvon) the Madrid story at Fresnedillas and Robledo was similar, they received the first pictures from the Moon at 1326 local time on 24 December 1968, which were sent by coax cable to London where the BBC, representing Eurovision and Mundovision, distributed them with all the different languages. The commercial television pictures were captioned with Live from Apollo 8 Madrid Tracking Station.
Still photos of the TV transmission were released to
a world wide wire photo pool headed by the Associated Press and United Press
International shortly after the telecast was concluded. A wire photo scanner
at the tracking station, connected by four thin telephone lines transmitted
the dramatic pictures of lunar craters to every news service and daily newspaper
in the world at once. The entire global wire photo net was set up for
the historic transmission.
Goldstone in the Mojave Desert was the Prime site for this mission. Under Station Director George Fariss, they too, were waiting for the first ever photographs of the lunar surface taken by humans. A system of microwave links flashed the live television to the world. They also used a 70mm system off the slow scanner for still photographs, the films flown to Los Angeles where the NASA Still Photo Pool developed and printed them. Selected frames were then released to the national wire services and magazines.
Honeysuckle Creek was featured on the back page, with pictures of our newspaper headlines, Ken Lee and Tom Reid at the ops console, Bernard Scrivener, and the slow scan photographing set up.
Here is the coverage of the three 85 foot MSFN stations during Apollo 8 in Goddard News
Higher resolution scans of all these pages are available on request.