Apollo 8 Audio Highlights

recorded at Honeysuckle Creek

Some Apollo 8 audio highlights for your enjoyment – here are some clips digitised from tapes recorded at Honeysuckle Creek.

(Some audio is via the other MSFN stations, and heard over the Network when Honeysuckle was not tracking.)

They are all encoded at 64kb/s from the original uncompressed transfers.

* indicates from a tape preserved by Hamish Lindsay. Likely copied in the Comms section from the station’s voice recorders.
The other clips are from tapes recorded by Bernard Scrivener on a reel to reel machine in the Station Director’s office.

Audio digitised by Colin Mackellar in 2018 from 1/4-inch tapes preserved by Rosemary Scrivener, Mike Dinn and Hamish Lindsay.

An earlier transfer of all of Bernard Scrivener’s Apollo 8 tapes, encoded at lower bitrates, is available on this page.
(That page includes US and Australian times of mission events.)

And Apollo 8 onboard audio, discovered on a tape preserved by Hamish Lindsay, is available on this page.


On the way to the Moon
Start GET Notes
-000:01:01 Launch. Honeysuckle Admin Officer Bernard Scrivener adds tape ID at the start, then Public Affairs audio (Jack King at KSC / Paul Haney at MCC-H). Source switches to Net 1 at 5'50". Recording ends just before LOS through Vanguard. Capcom Mike Collins. (15'31", 7.9MB)


GO for TLI. (0'10", 570kb)*


TLI burn. – Starts 0'25" before S-IVB ignition.
Comms apparently through the Mercury.(10'42", 5.6MB)*


We have a beautiful view of Florida now. (0'36", 780kb)*

003:58:30 Receiving VHF music. (0'12", 600kb)*
004:17:01 Where are you relative to the booster? (1'52", 1.4MB)*
004:26:37 Anything more on this separation manoeuvre? (1'14", 1.1MB)*
004:58:23 Weather observations. ‘The window is bigger than the Earth…’ (1'20", 1.1MB)*
012:03:01 S-Band Comm Test – ‘Unbelievably good’. ( 13'28", 7MB)
017:16:54 Spacecraft lighting. (1'14", 1.1MB)*
023:11:45 No need for midcourse correction. (0'52", 910kb)*
031:21:51 Deke – words on your health. (0'49", 890kb)*
038:44:47 Mike Dinn at Honeysuckle speaks with the crew during comms problems. Downlink audio only. (0'32", 760kb)*
042:44:55 Cabin getting chilly. (1'44", 1.3MB)*
062:04:00 Houston through Honeysuckle (echo on downlink – monitoring downlink plus Net 1?). (0'50", 920kb)*

Lunar Encounter

Start GET Notes. Times are from the start of this tape.

HSK leading up to Loss of Signal as Apollo 8 passes behind the Moon for the first time.

This is the full Track 4 of Tape 4 (recorded in the Station Director’s office) leading up to LOS as Apollo 8 passes behind the Moon at 19:48:16 AEST on Christmas Eve.

Note 1: This is a large file. (96'10", 46.7MB).

Note 2: What sounds like crosstalk at various points (e.g. at 02'31" and 03'27") is actually the onboard voice breaking through onto the downlink, as can be checked by comparison with the onboard audio and transcripts.

Note 3: If you compare the elapsed times from the start of the tape with the earlier transfer, encoded at lower quality, on this page, you’ll notice some small differences. That’s due to the tape being played back on different machines.

There are long periods of no communication on this tape.

Through Guam
00'16"Jerry Carr reads up the TEC-1 maneouver PAD.
03’30” Shifting command to Honeysuckle.

Through Honeysuckle
11'15" Carr continues to read up TEI PADs.
21'23" Carr requests switch Omni.
31'153" Carr requests down voice backup comm check
33'35" Lovell: “We have as yet to see the Moon.”
39'46" Carr: “At 68:04 you’re go for LOI.”
47'11" Borman: Cryos stirred.
51'19" 42 minutes from LOS.
56'15" Voice quality on the DSE dump is very good.
61'26" Comm check. Much more noise on downlink. Omni needs swapping?
65'30" Anders.
68'10" Carr: “We’ve got our lunar map up [on the display] and ready to go.”

72'18" Anders reports fuel pressure.
73'24" Carr calls, Lovell answers.

82'52" Carr: 9 minutes to LOS.
87'16" Carr: 5 minutes to LOS. “Roger, Frank, the custard’s in the oven at 350[°F].”

[Apparently Frank Borman’s wife Susan asked Carr to send that message: it was a message of support – he would fly the mission and she would keep things going at home.]

90'11" Carr: 2 minutes to LOS.
91'10" Carr: “Apollo 8, Houston. One minute to LOS. All systems Go… safe journey guys.”

91'56" Carr: “Apollo 8, 10 seconds to go – you’re Go all the way.”
92'07.7" Increase in noise at LOS – 068:58:05.

93'05" At Honeysuckle Creek: Bernard Scrivener announces “LOS: Rev. 1, Occultation.” onto the tape.


ONBOARD LOS at Lunar Encounter and preparation for the initial LOI burn. This is the first time humans have been completely out of contact with Earth.

Increase in noise at LOS, 10 seconds into this recording.

(1'37", 1.2MB)* Hear other Onboard audio on this page.


In Lunar Orbit

Start GET Notes
069:32:59 HSK AOS at emergence on lunar Rev 1. (2'14", 1.6MB)*
069:51:02 What does the ole Moon look like from sixty miles? (2'46", 1.8MB)*
069:55:28 Over to my right are the Pyrenees. (2'22", 1.6MB)*
070:00:00 The terminator is quite sharp. (0'23", 680kb)*
070:03:17 Are you sure you didn’t turn off the transmitters at that time? Some crosstalk. (0'38", 800kb)*
070:04:14 We want a Go for every rev please. (0'21", 665kb)*
070:08:36 Any words on Earthshine? Some crosstalk. (1'22", 1.1MB)
071:41:00 Lunar Orbit 2 – 1st TV broadcast from the Moon– through Madrid. (06'57", 3.8MB)
084:39:43 I wouldn’t be anywhere else tonight – TK Mattingly. (0'21", 670kb)*
086:06:40 Genesis Reading (echo on downlink – monitoring downlink plus Net 1?). (2'05", 1.5MB)*
088:33:15 GO for TLI. (0'36", 785kb)

On the way home
Start GET Notes
089:33:20 Please be informed there is a Santa Claus – Jim Lovell. AOS after TEI burn. (01'24", 1.2MB)
089:41:44 We’d like to try to have you manually acquire on High Gain – comms has been noisy. The HGA has not been locking on automatically. (02'11", 1.5MB).
089:45:43 Would you go to Narrow Beam. Hear the difference when Narrow Beam on the HGA is selected. (00'52", 912kb)

Deke Slayton sends Christmas wishes.

Borman replies, “Thank everybody on the ground for us. It's pretty clear we wouldn”t be anywhere if we didn”t have them doing it for helping us out here.” (01'13", 1.1MB)

089:59:00 Twas the Night Before Christmas – poem read up by Jack Schmitt. (02'59", 1.9MB)
111:16:22 How far are we from home, Ken? – Frank Borman. (05'53", 1.4MB)
115:19:57 Borman will not worry about installing hatch clamps to hold the door during re-entry. Mattingly asks him about the ‘Mae West’ life vest accidentally inflated by Jim Lovell at 001:54:45, before TLI. He answers by referrring to the incident at 105:58:19 GET. Now 137,915 nm, 225,419 km, from Earth.
145:57:08 Handover from CRO to GWM. “We should have continuous contact except for the blackout period, beginning at 146:51.” (00'36", 780kb)
145:41:20 How’s your tracking looking? VHF comm test through Carnarvon. (11'01", 5.8MB)


GET = Ground Elapsed Time.

© Colin Mackellar, 2018.

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