Fifty years ago: TEI


The view of the moon as Apollo 8 sped away from it on Christmas.


And so it came to pass early one Christmas morning as children across America slept or lay awake with visions, Apollo 8 swung around into the silence of the far side of the moon and fired its main engine to leave orbit.  TEI, Trans-earth Injection, entered the lexicon.  The world waited for the signal and the word.  The signal, AOS, acquisition of signal, came precisely at the calculated moment if the burn had been perfect.  Apollo 8 was heading home.  And then came the word, a message for children of all ages everywhere:  “Please be advised there is a Santa Claus.”

And this Santa Claus was not tethered to any one religion or set of beliefs, and he was delivering a Lunar Age to all that would last for four years — just long enough to inspire a generation.


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