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Apollo Transcripts: XML Data Format

By Eric Hartwell - last updated March 27, 2006

For my Apollo 17 project I decided to use a generic and extensible XML format for the timeline data instead of hard-coding the HTML. The formatting can easily be applied using an XSLT style sheet.

The fundamentals of a transcript map directly to XML:

  • who who="ID"
  • what <quote>, <photo> etc.
  • where src="source"
  • when <event met="hhh:mm:ss">

Note: For the Apollo 17 transcript, NASA didn't timestamp each quote independently as they did for all the others. This means there can be several <quote> elements for each <event>.

Tag Attribute Description
<event>   A significant occurrence or happening, usually time-related
  met= Mission Elapsed Time hhh:mm:ss
<quote>   Something spoken or written
  src= Source
  who= Speaker/author
<photo>   Photograph
  id= NASA photo ID
  frame= Frame number
<section>   Section
  attribute= Description

XML Schema

The simplest way to create and XML schema is to generate it directly from the XML data.


Here's a sample of the XML from my Apollo 17 Flight Journal timeline:

<event met="000:00:00">
  <quote who="LCC">we have a liftoff. We have a liftoff and it's lighting up the area, its just like daylight here at Kennedy Space Center as the Saturn V is moving off the pad. It has now cleared the tower.</quote>
h3>Ascent: First Stage S-IC</h3>
<event met="000:00:03">
  <quote who="CDR">Roger. The clock has started. We have you. (Laughter) Clear the tower. Roger; tower. Yaw's complete. We're into roll, Bob.</quote>
  <quote src="TechDebrief" who="CDR">Countdown - It was dark and we didn't see anything until S-IC ignition.</quote>
  <quote src="TechDebrief" who="CDR">The S-IC ignition - The lights started going out at 7 seconds, and somewhere around 3 seconds they were completely out. You could feel the ignition. You could feel the engines come up to speed. Just prior to lift-off and during the first few seconds of lift- off when we were near the pad, both the CMP and I could see the reflection of the engine ignition out the left-hand window and the hatch window in the BPC. We could not see the fire but could see a red glow through the windows reflecting apparently off the surface. Ignition was like a big old freight train sort of starting to rumble and shake and rattle and as she lifted off. We got a good tower clear.</quote>
  <quote src="TechDebrief" who="CMP">I really wasn't watching the lights because I guess I didn't expect the thing to shake quite as much as it did. To me, I felt like I was really vibrating. I wanted to find out what was making me vibrate. I wasn't expecting that much vibration when the S-IC lit off. At lift-off, again, once it got vibrating, I didn't feel the yaw. I was watching the needle on the thing but didn't feel the yaw, though.</quote>
  <quote src="TechDebrief" who="CDR">Powered flight - During the actual powered flight of the S-IC you could not see anything at all. You couldn't see out the cockpit, as we had the lights up fairly bright.</quote>
event met="000:00:17">
  <quote who="CCo">Roger, Geno. Looking great. Thrust good on all five engines.</quote>
event met="000:00:20">
  <quote who="CDR">Okay, babe. It's looking good here; roll is complete. We are pitching.</quote>
  <quote who="(unidentified)">Wow woozle!</quote>
  <quote who="CMP">Okay, babe. Let's check the angles.</quote>
  <quote who="PAO">This is Mission Control. Gene Cernan reporting the launch vehicle maneuvering to the proper attitude, everything looking good at this point.</quote>
  <quote who="CMP">Thirty seconds. We're going up. Man, oh, man!</quote>
event met="000:00:36">
  <quote who="CDR">Thirty seconds, and 17 is GO.</quote>
event met="000:00:38">
  <quote who="CCo">Roger, 17, you're GO.</quote>
  <quote who="PAO">First stage looks good. Altitude 1.1 miles. Booster says we look good. We are now at 2.5 miles.</quote>

Revision History

  • March 27, 2006 - initial version
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