Apollo 8 the facts do matter.
In December 1968 Apollo 8 was the second manned Apollo flight. According to space history it orbited the moon with three astronauts on board and returned safely back to earth. If that is the case why has no other space agency repeated this achievement. The Apollo 8 project is surrounded by questions without many answers. Did you know that the Apollo 8 flight was originally scheduled to be an unmanned earth orbital mission. Here is the story of Apollo 8 in a few simple steps.
“When AS-503 – the third Saturn V – was erected on 20 December 1967, it had been scheduled for the unmanned launch of a boilerplate Apollo in May 1968. By late January the launch team had stacked the remaining stages on mobile launcher 1. Despite the success of Apollo 4, the flight hardware still carried considerable research instrumentation. As the Apollo 6 mission neared, KSC hastened to complete the integrated testing of AS-503 in the assembly building. Admiral B. O. Middleton, KSC’s Apollo Program Manager, had informed Phillips that, if Apollo 6 failed and another unmanned Saturn V were needed, AS-503 could roll out to the pad within ten days. Final preparations for the move were held pending analysis of the Apollo 6 flight test data and the decision whether AS-503 would be manned or not. KSC’s chance to demonstrate the relative speed and economy of the mobile concept disappeared in the ripples created by pogo.” [*1]
As you can see from the NASA information given above Apollo 8 was scheduled as an unmanned Earth orbital flight for May 1968. When did they change their mind and make it into a manned Earth orbital mission? Lets see what the NASA.gov website tells us.
“Despite the disappointment of the Apollo 6 flight, NASA was reasonably confident in its analysis of the Saturn V problems. On 23 April, Mueller recommended a revised Apollo schedule to Administrator Webb, including provisions to man Apollo 8. The next day in a press briefing at NASA Headquarters, Phillips stated that, in spite of the problems, Apollo 6 had been a safe mission. He supported Mueller's recommendation by advocating that NASA prepare for a manned flight late in 1968 on the third Saturn V with the option to revert to an unmanned mission if corrections did not meet the requirements felt necessary to ensure crew safety." [*1]
"Administrator Webb agreed on 17 August to man Apollo 8 for an earth-orbital mission, but postponed the decision on a circumlunar mission until after the Apollo 7 flight. The launch of Apollo 8 was set for 6 December." [*2]
As you can see, on the 17th of August 1968 they were still talking about a manned earth orbital mission for December that same year. When did they make the decision to change the manned earth orbital mission into a Lunar orbital mission?
“The Apollo 7 mission ended with splashdown on 22 October. Six days later, NASA outlined the steps that would lead to a final decision on the next manned Apollo during the week of 11 November. Dr. Thomas O. Paine, acting Administrator, said: “The final decision on whether to send Apollo 8 around the moon will be made after a thorough assessment of the total risks involved and the total gains to be realized in this next step toward a manned lunar landing. We will fly the most advanced mission for which we are fully prepared that does not unduly risk the safety of the crew.” [*3]
“On 12 November NASA made its decision public - Apollo 8 would fly a lunar-orbital mission beginning 21 December.” [*3]
From an unmanned to a manned low Earth orbital flight in May 1968 and then on 12 November it changed to a lunar orbital flight. When you read the NASA website you will notice that NASA seemed to be under an enormous time pressure and far behind on schedule. They must have thought if we can't make it we just fake it. If it is that simple to change a low earth orbital mission into a lunar orbital mission, other leading space agencies would had done a manned lunar orbital mission by now. The remarkable thing is that for over 50 years, none of these space agencies have even tried to achieve a manned lunar orbital mission. Don't you think that some people are testing your intelligence?
Warnings from Russia,
The statement about high solar activity made by the Russian Dr Petrow as reported on the 23 December 1968 in the Dutch newspapers, was also reported by a US corespondent in Moscow. Who echoed the concerned during the live CBS Apollo 8 broadcast with Walter Cronkite as host.
"MOSCOW (DPA / AFP) The Russian scholar G. Petrow wished the American Apollo 8 experiment success. Petrow, who is the heads the space research institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, writes in the Prawda that it should not be forgotten that this Apollo 8 flight takes place during a period of high solar activity, and that the three American astronauts can therefore be exposed to strong radiation. Petrouw believes that the Apollo-8 flight is near the flight path of the Russian space probes Zond 5 and 6. One of the peculiarities of the Apollo system is that man apparently plays the main role in the control of the spacecraft, according to Petrow. The Soviet Union, he adds, is currently developing systems that can both function automatically and be operated manually." [*4]
Warnings from The United Kingdom,
Astronomer Sir Bernard Lovell spoke out against the stupid idea to sent Apollo 8 to the moon. Here is the Dutch version of what Sir Bernard Lovell did say, published 21 December 1969.
"Apollo 8 journey is utterly absurd Sir Bernard Lovell
LONDON, Nov. (AFP) - The director of the British radio observatory in Jodrell Bank, Slr Bernard Lovell, sharply condemned the planned journey to the moon of three spacemen with the Apollo-8 and called it "utterly absurd." In an interview with the London newspaper "Evening News" he stated that "there is a great chance that the three astronauts never return to earth, or when they do, find the dead. When the Apollo-8 returns to earth, it is operated at a speed of 40,000 km per hour. The return happens that no human being can survive with a rapid atmosphere. "Lovell had previously stated that the Russians have solved the issue of return to earth by a method of reflections from the higher layers of the atmosphere, like with the Zond 6 has happened. He added that the Russians are very cautious with their manned space flights."[*6]
A few days after the news article was published Sir Bernard Lovell was bullied during a live CBS Apollo 8 broadcast hosted by Walter Cronkite and John Glenn. Sir Bernard Lovell quickly retracted his words, but you can see that he is not comfortable at all with the whole situation. John Glenn however keeps bulling Bernard Lovell, until the live connection with the UK is abruptly disconnected.
Warnings from Poland,
Prof. Piotrowski and Prof. dr. Paczkowski warned that the Apollo 8 austronauts would be at great risk.
"Polish scholars warn, Apollo 8 astronauts are at risk.
WARSAW - Two Polish scholars have expressed their opinion that, for non-scientific reasons, America is going to undertake its flight around the moon too early, so that the three astronauts are at risk. The criticism comes from Prof. Piotrowski, head of the space research committee of the Polish Academy of Sciences and Prof. dr. Paczkowski, the chairman of the space commission." [*7]
Warnings from United States,
During the CBS live coverage of Apollo 8 the Chief of WCBS Gordon Barnes speaks about his concerns live on TV, again hosted by Walter Cronkite. The critical qiestion from Gordon Barnes echoed the worries of British scientist Sir Bernard Lovell. When you watch the video you can see that Cronkite is not amused by the critical questions of the Chief weatherman from CBS.
It seems strange indeed that there was never an unmanned test flight to test the Apollo space craft on the way to the moon or in Lunar orbital. Apollo 8 seems more a test to see how the world would react to a fake lunar orbit mission. No space agency would send their second ever (Apollo 8) manned mission to the moon and back. If it was that easy the Russians and other space nations would all have orbited the moon by now with astronauts. One thing becomes blatant clear after reading this article, NASA faked it because they couldn't make it.