Gene Kranz returned to his second home last Friday, the Apollo Mission Control room. [credit:
Last week, NASA unveiled a restored Apollo Mission Control room at Johnson Space Center. Former Flight Director Gene Kranz, who led the Apollo 11 Moon landing and then gained fame after his role was popularized in the movie Apollo 13, led fundraising for the effort. Kranz also narrates the visitor experience to the restored control room, in which the screens light up to show displays as they were during the lunar descent.
At times on Friday, Kranz appeared to be overcome with emotion as he reminisced about those heady days 50 years ago. “When I walked into that viewing room it was dazzling,” he said. “Overwhelming. All of a sudden you were 50 years younger. I wanted to get to work.”
Before the restoration, the old Apollo flight control room, which was used for the early space shuttle missions and then largely abandoned, had deteriorated.The carpet was torn and held together with yellow Duct tape. Visitors had picked over the original consoles for souvenirs. “That place was not representative of historic mission control,” he said.