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EDT July 18, the crew started a 96-minute color television transmission of the CSM and LM interiors, CSM exterior, the earth, probe and drogue removal, spacecraft tunnel hatch opening, food preparation, and LM housekeeping. During the remainder of the mission, the crew tracked Pegasus III, NASA’s meteoroid detection satellite that had been launched July 30, 1965; took multispectral photographs of the earth; exercised the spacecraft systems; and ready for reentry. The lunar module returned to dock efficiently with the CSM following the eight-hour separation, and the LM crew returned to the CSM.The LM ascent stage was jettisoned, its batteries had been burned to depletion, and it was positioned in a solar orbit on May 23. The crew then prepared for the return trip to earth and after 61.5 hours in lunar orbit a service propulsion system TEI burn injected the CSM right into a trajectory towards the earth. EDT to position the spacecraft in a trajectory toward the moon. Throughout the transearth coast, views of the receding moon and the inside of the spacecraft were televised, and a question and answer session with scientists and the press was carried out. 4:34 p.m. the LM was inserted right into a descent orbit. Apollo 8 was the first spacecraft to be launched by a Saturn V with a crew on board, and that crew grew to become the primary males to fly around the moon.All launch and boost phases had been normal and the spacecraft with the S-IVB stage was inserted into an earth-parking orbit of 190.6 by 183.2 kilometers above the earth.

The third stage (S-IVB) firing was additionally longer than planned and at termination of thrust the orbit was 177.7 x 362.9 kilometers fairly than the 160.9-kilometer close to-circular orbit deliberate. The spacecraft and S-IVB stage entered a parking orbit with a 185.5-kilometer apogee and a 181.5-kilometer perigee. On March 5 McDivitt and Schweickart entered the LM by way of the docking tunnel, evaluated the LM systems, transmitted the primary of two collection of telecasts, and fired the LM descent propulsion system. EST, November 17, the spacecraft entered a lunar orbit of 312.6 x 115.9 kilometers. Scientists theorized that ionization had been produced by 6,300 K to 10,300 K (6,000 levels C to 10,000 degrees C) temperature generated by the impact or that particles had reached an altitude of 60 kilometers from the lunar surface and had been ionized by sunlight.Meanwhile again within the CSM/LM, the crew had been performing the routine housekeeping duties related to the period of the translunar coast. After the spacecraft swung across the moon, another maneuver reduced the coast time back to earth and moved the landing point from the Indian Ocean to the South Pacific. The coast phase was dedicated to navigation sightings, two tv transmissions, and system checks. Throughout the return trip the astronauts made star-lunar landmark sightings, star-earth horizon navigation sightings, and live tv transmissions.

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