Please be informed…

by | Dec 24, 2018 | NASA, Space | 2 comments

50 Years Ago Today.

Retro officer Chuck Deiterich was in the Mission Control Center figuring out a way to get the crew of Apollo 8 back home. Enjoy this little ditty he penned about the experience!

Twas the night before Christmas 50 years past
There were hushed voices in the Houston MCC,
All were deliberate and none too fast
I sat at my console next the rest of the Flight Dynamics Team
There on the front row which we affectionately called the Trench

As I sat there studying things like propellant loads, number of jetts for ullage to settle the fuel, etc.,
I formulated the crew’s way home
I then gave my inputs to the computer operator 2 floors below amid the hum of IBM 360’s

After a bit the screens on my console glittered and gleamed with the all information I would need
Carefully reviewing the numbers I saw, and with assurances all was order

I carefully prepared the Transearth Injection Maneuver PAD with red ink and all
I then gave the PAD to the Capcom to read to the crew
All of the digits, signs and comments too

The crew read the PAD back and you can see where the Capcom checked each number
If you look at the read back time on the PAD, you can tell
That the crew would start home in about an hour and a half

For the last time, Apollo 8 disappeared behind the moon
The MCC was serious in anticipation of an event about to unfold
Rounding the moon and to everyone’s joy Jim Lovell exclaimed:


“Please be informed there is a Santa Claus”

Happy Christmas to All

and to All a Good Night


  1. Ari Dolfman

    I love reading these old treasures from NASA. Please keep posting them for us!

  2. Anonymous

    Love this! I want to work in Mission Control.


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