Home > Uncategorized > Apollo 8 – Real Time Simulation

Apollo 8 – Real Time Simulation

I recently ran a little experiment where I played through Apollo 8 using AMSO, but in real time.  I tried to leave orbiter running continuously while I performed other tasks but keeping watch on a timer I had set on my phone to keep track of the time and be aware of upcoming events.


Apollo 8, approaching an unlit moon


Recreating the famous Earth-Rise photograph from Apollo 8


Earthrise again, but without so much UI in the way

I did run into a few problems, I had a failure in the CM SPS engine which cut its efficiency down quite a lot.  i was uncertain if I would have enough Dv left to make it back to earth, so I compromised and did not completely circularize the lunar orbit, as you can see in the above screenshot.

a8 tei success

TEI successful, leaving the moon behind

I followed the official Apollo 8 Timeline published by NASA to try to be as close as possible, but of course running a simulation is a bit different, but I was never off by more than a few minutes at most.

a8 almost home

Almost home, just a few thousand kilometers away

a8 separation

Service Module separation, preparing for reentry

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