Christopher Columbus Kraft Jr.

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Christopher Columbus Kraft Jr.

Post by scimjim » Tue Jul 23, 2019 10:21 pm

Kraft pioneered the concept of the Mission Control Centre and became it’s first Flight Director, later becoming Director of the Manned Spacecraft Centre (Johnson Space Centre).

During the many Mercury, Gemini and Apollo missions, he eventually made everyone realise the importance of the Flight Director - the only person with access to the complete picture - even above NASA senior management during a mission.

Many Apollo engineers, later to become top managers, considered Kraft to have been one of the best managers in the program. He personally hand-picked and trained an entire generation of NASA flight directors, including John Hodge, Glynn Lunney and Gene Kranz, the last of whom referred to Kraft simply as "The Teacher." In the words of the space historians Murray and Cox, Kraft "set the tone for one of the most striking features of Flight Operations: unquestioning trust — not of superiors by subordinates, but the other way around."

Born February 28, 1924.
Died July 22, 2019 (2 days after the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moonwalks).

Jim King


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