NASA officially reopened the newly restored Apollo Mission Control Center at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, on Friday. In time to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing on July 20, the historic center has been restored to appear as it did during that time period. In order to help ensure authenticity NASA says the restoration team included representatives of the Apollo Mission Control teams and artifacts on display are either cleaned and restored originals or re-creations based on original samples.
“By restoring the Apollo Mission Control Center, NASA is preserving the rich history of a remarkable achievement in human spaceflight,” said Restoration Project Manager Jim Thornton. “This will not only help share our history with visitors from around the world, but also remind our current employees who are planning missions to send humans back to the Moon and then further to Mars, that anything is possible and we are standing on the shoulders of giants.”
The facility was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1985. It was in use until 1992 and housed flight control teams for Gemini, Apollo, Apollo/Soyuz, Skylab and Space Shuttle program missions. In 2018, it was renamed the Christopher C. Kraft Jr. Mission Control Center. Work on the $5 million restoration project began in 2017 after five years of planning and fundraising. The Apollo Mission Control Center is open to tours via Space Center Houston, which sees more than one million visitors each year.