Encyclopedia Astronautica
1968.12.09 - Launch preparations for Apollo 8


Launch preparations for Apollo 8, scheduled for flight December 21, were on schedule, the NASA Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight reported.

Recent significant steps included a leak and functional test of the service propulsion system on November 26, fuel servicing of the CM reaction control system and the SPS on the following day, hypergolic loading on November 30, and loading of the S-IC stage with RP-1 fuel on December 2. All testing of the Mission Control Center in Houston and the Manned Space Flight Network had also been completed; both support systems were ready for full operational support. Recovery briefings had been given to the flight crew and the final flight plan for Apollo 8 had been issued. If all preparations continued to go smoothly, the final countdown for launch would begin on December 16.

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