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With great sorrow we say that NASA engineer Chris Kraft (Christopher C. Kraft, Jr) passed away on July 22, 2019. The first flight director of US space agency Nasa Chris Kraft has died at the age of 95 – days after 50th anniversary celebrations of the first Moon landing.
He created the concept of NASA’s Mission Control and developed its organization, operational procedures and culture, then made it a critical element of the success of the nation’s human spaceflight programs.
Following his graduation from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 1944, Kraft was hired by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), the predecessor organization to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
“America has truly lost a national treasure today with the passing of one of NASA’s earliest pioneers – flight director Chris Kraft,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a statement. “We send our deepest condolences to the Kraft family.
“Chris was one of the core team members that helped our nation put humans in space and on the Moon, and his legacy is immeasurable. Chris’ engineering talents were put to work for our nation at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, before NASA even existed, but it was his legendary work to establish mission control as we know it for the earliest crewed space flights that perhaps most strongly advanced our journey of discovery. From that home base, America’s achievements in space were heard across the globe, and our astronauts in space were anchored to home even as they accomplished unprecedented feats.”
“Scientists say there is no life on the moon. I look at the moon today, see the faces from NASA, industry, science and academe who brilliantly sent Americans to that place, and I know differently. The people of Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo are blossoms on the moon. Their spirits will live there forever. I was part of the crowd, then part of leadership that opened space travel to human beings. We threw a narrow flash of light across our nation’s history. I was there at the best of times.” — Chris Kraft in “Flight: My Life in Mission Control”.
Source: Text; NASA
Image credit; NASA
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