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Paul L. Gleiser | all galleries >> Working the Apollo 40th Anniversary Story > 0709d-0708-0003.jpg
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July 8, 2009 Paul L. Gleiser


Johnson Space Center - Houston

For those watching on television, it was "Mission Control." At NASA, it was the Mission Operations Control Room or "MOCR". This room controlled missions beginning with Gemini IV, the first mission to incorporate an American spacewalk, June 3-7, 1965 and continuing through Space Shuttle mission STS-53, December 2-9, 1992. In that period, this room was the point of control for all NASA manned spaceflight missions including six lunar landings and the "successful failure" of Apollo 13. During his term in office, President Ronald Reagan designated the room as a National Historic Landmark and following its final shuttle mission, the room was restored to its configuration for the Apollo missions. The chair in the foreground was occupied by the Flight Director, call sign, "Flight" on the loops. The Flight Director had ultimate authority for the conduct of a manned space flight, even retaining the authority to override the decisions of NASA management if he believed it to be in the best interest of the mission. Eugene Kranz is the most famous of the Apollo flight directors. He is played by Ed Harris in the movie "Apollo 13."

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