Apollo Flight Journal logo
Journal Home Page

Journal Preparation

The creation of the Apollo Flight Journal owes much to its predecessor, the Apollo Lunar Surface Journal by Eric Jones. It began as an idea to continue my interest and study of the Apollo program to land men on the Moon between 1968 and 1972. I had converted ten of NASA's History series publications into online versions and had built up a good background knowledge of Apollo so I wished to take it further. As the mechanics and experience of flying to the Moon are of as much interest to me as exploring its surface, I decided to embark on extending Eric's work to those parts of the Apollo missions not covered by the ALSJ.

I chose Apollo 15 as the first flight in the AFJ for a number of reasons. Along with Apollo 17, 15 is arguably the finest example of an entirely successful, advanced Apollo mission. It had just about everything by way of mission operations, crowned by one of the most spectacular landing sites visited by humans. My feeling then, was that if I never get to bring another flight into the Journal, describing the flight of Apollo 15 will do much to inform others of how Apollo went about its business.

With kind help from NASA's History Office, the Apollo Flight Journal was prepared from Technical and Public Affairs Office transcripts made at the time. These were converted to electronic text and checked, where possible, with audio recordings of the air ground communications.

With much help from Frank O'Brien, who agreed to collaborate with me on this project from its first days, relevant commentary was added, along with other supporting material, which was derived from research of the Flight Plan, CSM and LM checklists, mission reports, debriefings and contemporary and later books and documents. Apollo 15's commander, David R. Scott, reviewed an early version, answered queries and, along with the mission's Command Module Pilot, Al Worden, added contributions. Mission photography has been included where available.

Since the Apollo 15 FJ came out, the work had slowly extended to other missions in a process that sees no end. In this, I am very grateful to a bunch of folk who have adopted a mission and brought their time and talents to it. The transcript is heavily endowed with long lists of digits when Pre-Advisory Data (PAD) lists were being read up to the crew, to be promptly read back as a check that they have been successfully copied. These numbers were read without punctuation and are very difficult to interpret in this form. However, since punctuation was added to the technical transcript, we have preserved this transcript's colons and decimal points in the interests of clarity.

David Woods

October 1998, March 2009

Last updated 2017-02-10