Locals pitch in to Kickstarter to restore NASA's Mission Control in Houston

HOUSTON – It's a place rich in history and holds plenty of space-exploration significance.

After all, it was the nerve center for the United States space program that helped to put the first man on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission in 1969.

"This is a place where things happened," Gene Kranz said.

Kranz has fond memories of that historic moment, and many others, at Space Center Houston. He served as a NASA flight director at the time of the mission.

"Every time I enter this room, I can feel the history of this room and feel the timber of the controller's voices and the energy and passion," Kranz said.

Now, Mission Control at Space Center Houston is in desperate need of a restoration.

"This is not only important to the U.S., but to humanity and the entire world. The men in this room achieved something that no one else had done before," William Harris, president/CEO Space Center Houston, said.

To raise the nearly $5 million needed for the project, a new crowd-funding effort is underway on Kickstarter.

"We want of give you a sense of what it was like and what the experience was for the men who worked in this room and all the challenges they face during those missions," Harris said.

"I felt an immediate connection to it. I'm from the area and grew up watching," Dee Woodson, who donated to the campaign, said.

Families like the Woodsons spotted the fundraising effort on Facebook and chipped in $35.

They're optimistic many others will also get on board, if for nothing else, because the history made there helped to get us where we are today.

"Technology and social media and the way that we're all so connected started from this, started from this space program," Woodson said.

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