Essential Apollo 11 flight director of NASA, Chris Kraft, died just two days after Apollo 11 Moon landing’s 50th anniversary was celebrated by the agency. He was 95 years old.
Chris Kraft’s role at NASA
Kraft – whose full name was Christopher Columbus Kraft Jr – was a NASA visionary who founded the core procedures that made up mission control. Christopher Columbus Kraft Jr founded the mission control’s core procedures as a NASA visionary. He was behind human’s journey to the Moon having a critical role. Even Neil Armstrong though of Kraft as “the man who was in ‘control’ of mission control.”
During the mission, Krafts was in charge of many important decisions such as what to do in case of a problem and is the launch should continue in case of unfavorable conditions. Aside from his important role in the Apollo program, the flight controller became director of operations at The Manned Spacecraft Center. He was the one dealing with the training of the astronauts and their delivery to space.
Who was Kraft as a person?
During the Apollo 12 mission, the expertise and skills of Kraft were acknowledged by the agency, and he received the role of deputy director of the center. Afterward, he became the director of the Manned Spacecraft Centre in 1972. The final Apollo missions were guided by Kraft, having a crucial role in the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project and the Skylab crewed space station being a witness of the beginning of the Space Shuttle era.
Kraft did not give up his director role until he was forced to in August 1982 because of his age. However, he was still a consultant. NASA did not leave Kraft unhonoured and offered him four NASA Distinguished Service Medals and the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal.
Chris Kraft carried out his role as director until retirement in August 1982, after which time he remained a consultant. His contribution to human spaceflight was honored by NASA via various awards including the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal and four NASA Distinguished Service Medals.