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Erlkönig: The Night Before Christmas on Apollo 8

Christmas in Space
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Twas the night before Christmas and way out in space, the Apollo 8 crew had just won the Moon race. The headsets were hung by the consoles with care, in hopes that Chris Kraft soon would be there. Frank Borman was nestled all snug in his bed, while visions of REFSMMAT's danced in his head; and Jim Lovell, in his couch, and Anders, in the bay, were racking their brains over a computer display. When out of the DSKY there arose such a clatter, Frank sprang from his bed to see what was the matter. Away to the sextant he flew in a flash to make sure they weren't going to crash. The light on the breast of the Moon's jagged crust gave a luster of green cheese to the gray lunar dust. When what to his wondering eyes should appear, but a Burma Shave sign saying 'Kilroy was here.' (Laughter) But Frank was no fool; he knew pretty quick that they had been first; this must be a trick. More rapid than rockets, his curses they came. He turned to his crewmen and called them by name. Now Lovell, now Anders, now don't think I'd fall for an old joke you've written up on the wall. They spoke not a word, but grinning like elves, and laughed at their joke in spite of themselves. Frank sprang from his couch, to the ship gave a thrust, and away they all flew past the gray lunar dust. But we heard them explain ere they flew around the Moon: Merry Christmas to Earth; we will be back there real soon.

-- from the Apollo 8 Lunar Mission, quoted in annotations to the Apollo 17 Lunar Mission transcripts, Christmas cheer from Earth.

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