Lunar and Planetary Institute

Apollo 8 Mission

Overview | Activities | Photography

Mission Activities

No formal scientific experiments were planned, but recommendations were solicited from scientists regarding tasks and observations that could be accomplished within the equipment and schedule constraints. Principal recommendations were for modifications to initial photographic plans and equipment.

Midcourse Navigation
The intent of this objective was to demonstrate onboard star-Earth landmark optical navigation.

Landmark Tracking
The intent of this objective was to establish that an onboard capability existed to compute relative position data for a lunar landing mission.

Portions of these test objectives were not met. However, in the case of the Midcourse Navigation Test, the accuracy of other navigation modes was sufficient to preclude the necessity of using star-Earth landmarks for midcourse navigation. In the case of the Landmark Tracking Test, sufficient data were obtained to determine that no constraints existed for subsequent missions.