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Wed, Jun 26, 2019

NASA Set To Open Newly-Restored Apollo Mission Control Center

Ribbon Cutting Scheduled For June 28

Fifty years ago, an unparalleled team of experts in a mission control center at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston landed the first humans on the Moon. To commemorate an accomplishment that forever changed the world, the Apollo Mission Control Center has been restored to appear as it did in that era just in time to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine will officially reopen this historic and newly-restored facility at 9 a.m. CDT Friday, June 28. The event will begin in the Teague Auditorium at Johnson with speakers from NASA and Space Center Houston, Johnson's official visitors center, followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The program for the event is as follows:

9 to 9:45 a.m. – Opening remarks in Teague Auditorium.

  • NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine
  • Johnson Center Director Mark Geyer
  • Space Center Houston President and CEO William Harris
  • Apollo alumni

10:15 to 10:30 a.m. – Ribbon-cutting ceremony in the Apollo Mission Control Center.

The restoration included the Mission Operations Control Room (MOCR), Visitor Viewing Room, Simulation Control Room, and the Summary Display Projection Room (“bat cave”), the areas that make up the Apollo MCC - all located in the Christopher C. Kraft Mission Control Center (MCC) at Johnson. The MCC is where NASA’s flight control team planned, trained and executed Gemini, Apollo, Apollo/Soyuz, Skylab and Space Shuttle missions until 1992 including the momentous Apollo 11 and 13 missions.

In 1985, the MCC was designated a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service. Throughout the years, some work was done to partially restore the Apollo MCC to its Apollo-era configuration, but it was not fully restored and continued to deteriorate.

The flight control consoles are original and will be fully refurbished. The modules in the consoles will also be reconfigured to harken back to the Apollo era. Wallpaper and carpet samples were evaluated against recently identified originals have been recreated for the room. The Johnson Space Center worked to acquire and reproduce the same furnishings that were in the room during that time period: items such as ashtrays, trash cans, and book cases.

Space Center Houston, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) foundation, spearheaded the effort to raise funds for the project. While NASA cannot accept public donations that have a targeted purpose, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) has the flexibility to accept public donations and designate the funds for specific historic preservation projects. The ACHP is an independent federal agency that promotes the preservation and productive use of our nation's historic resources, and advises the President and Congress on national historic preservation policy. Space Center Houston is sending the funds to the ACHP so they can be earmarked specifically for the Apollo MCC restoration.

The restoration of this National Historic Landmark will create a space for the Apollo generation to remember an incredible time in history and keep that inspiration alive for the next generation. The lessons learned from Apollo set the stage for subsequent NASA programs, including the Space Shuttle Program, which made the construction of the International Space Station possible, and the Orion Program, which will take astronauts into deep space and farther than ever before.

(Source: NASA. Images provided)

FMI: www.nasa.gov

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