Michael Wicke / AP
Gene Kranz may be the most famous flight director in NASA's history. He directed the actual detachment of the first mission to put the men on the Moon, Apollo 11, and led the Controlling Mission to rescue the Apollo 13 crew after an oxygen tank exploded the way to the moon's surface.
Now 85-year-old Kranz has completed another endeavor: resuming mission control at the Johnson Space Center at NASA in Houston.
The room where Kranz directs some of NASA's most historic missions by announcing the US space exploration was taken out of operation in 1992. Since then, it has become a stopover for space center tours but has fallen into disrepair Kranz has led a multi-year effort of $ 5 million to restore mission control to the 50th anniversary of the first landing on July 20th.
"I went into this room last Monday for the first time when he was fully working and dynamite, I literally cried," said Kranz in an interview with NPR, "The emotional jump at that moment was incredible, I went to the floor, and when we made the tape over the past two days, believe me or not, I heard people speak in this room 50 years ago, hear the speakers of the controllers, and the room also recovered the memories of Kranz from the shared sense of purpose. "This group of people united in pursuit of a cause , and in fact the result is greater than the sum of ch you. There was a chemistry that formed, "says Krantz.
Sandra Tetley, Johnson Space Center History Officer, works with performers to recreate the room thoroughly, interview former flight controllers, and collect old They search for sites like eBay to find Apollo-like items such as cups, ashtrays, and coffee pots to fill the room. "We even identified what the original paint was and was not original paint so we could make sure the original paint is left, "said Tetley we've sealed all the tiles on the ceiling to match all the models.
Kranz, played by actor Ed Harris in the 1995 Apollo 13 film, says the meaning of the room extends beyond historical objects and artifacts. "[The room] also has a bearing on the American psyche that what America will dare, America will do," he said.
Kranz said he wanted his early space missions to challenge America's youth to study science, engineering and technology, and the restored room to inspire teachers and students. "There is a terrible future there, and what you have to do is go and grab it, catch it on the ground, accept the challenges and then decide," said Kranz. "You have the skills, you have the knowledge, you have love and you are able to move forward and make a great life for yourself."
These were the lessons Kranz said he had learned in the control of the mission.