HOUSTON – NASA on Friday unveiled the restored mission control room that was used during the days of the Apollo moon missions.
The event comes less than a month before the 50th anniversary of man’s landing on the moon.
The consoles that once housed the computers used to track astronauts during the Apollo era were shipped to a museum in Kansas to undergo $5 million of restoration work early last year. They were returned to Houston in November.
Gene Kranz, who served as flight director during the Apollo missions, said he viewed the restored control room Monday and it made him feel right at home.
"I walked into that viewing room, and it was dazzling," Kranz said. "(I was) overwhelmed. You just couldn't believe this. All of a sudden, you were 50 years younger, and I wanted to walk back in that room and work."
"It’s interesting," Kranz said. "You walk into this room and you walk around there and you start listening to voices and you hear voices in the room. It’s no ordinary place. This is where decisions are made. The words are crisp, concise, urgent: ‘Go,' or 'No go.'"
A Kickstarter campaign helped raise some of the funds needed for the renovation, and that community support for the project impressed Kranz.
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"This nation, this community, people started contributing," Kranz said. "A team was formed at Johnson Space Center that was literally miraculous in its ability."
The consoles are the centerpieces of the iconic control room which visitors to Space Center Houston can see during their tour of the Johnson Space Center. It opens to the public July 1.