back to article Houston, we've had a legend: Boffin behind NASA Mission Control signs off for final time

Chris Kraft, who created the concept of NASA's Mission Control, died yesterday aged 95. Born in Phoebus, Virginia, on 28 February 1924, Christopher Columbus Kraft joined the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) in 1945 following his graduation. Armed with a degree in Aeronautical Engineering, Kraft was a good fit …

  1. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    What an amazing career.

    As per the title. And what a glorious time it must have been to be in aeronautical engineering.

    1. MyffyW Silver badge

      Re: What an amazing career.

      It is difficult to think of any time where technology progressed in such tangibly large steps. From the seeming "barrier" of the speed of sound through to landing on another world, and from 400 staff to 400,000. For once using the word "awesome" doesn't feel like I'm indulging my Bill and Ted years.

  2. Alister Silver badge

    Sad to hear of his death, but heartened that he made it to see the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 - although I'm sure he would have hoped that we had managed to do so much more by now.

  3. RosslynDad

    Essential Reading

    Make sure you read "Flight" - his autobiography. Huge insight to what happened behind the scenes and Mr Kraft isn't afraid to say things as he thought them, both good and bad. One of the best space books. It must have been inspiring and frightening to have worked with him. The word "Legend" is greatly over-used: but not about him. Wherever he is going you know it will be run a bit better from now on.

  4. Will Godfrey Silver badge


    I'm seriously running out of heroes.

    R.I.P. Mr Kraft.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Damn

      I'm seriously running out of heroes.

      Indeed. There's damn few left and there just doesn't seem to be very many to fill that void.

      1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

        Re: Damn

        One of the problems being that 'self-promoting' "heroes" dominate public consciousness. And they tend (are all?) simply legends in their own imagined lunchtimes. This man earned it.

  5. davenewman

    Book gone

    His book is selling secondhand for £50.

    1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

      Re: Book gone

      Actually as low as £20 online (this may change :-)

  6. steelpillow Silver badge

    I trust it was not the shock of Apollo's 50th anniversary arriving that killed him.

    But seriously, what a great player, one of my all-time heroes - and I'm a Brit!

    And all power to NASA's elbow back then, what a great way to run the ship. Each time the tech guy proved not enough they kept the faith and promoted him until he had the managerial clout to apply the lessons learned. Something the modern world of hi-ego political correctness needs to rediscover.

  7. OzBob

    And if you watched "Armstrong"

    then you will know he nixxed Buzz Aldrin being first man on the moon.

    1. Timbo

      Re: And if you watched "Armstrong"

      "And if you watched "Armstrong"

      then you will know he nixxed Buzz Aldrin being first man on the moon."

      I did watch Armstrong, but I never saw/heard the reason why Aldrin was "nixxed" and by whom...

      Maybe I didn't notice... :-(

    2. Apollo-Soyuz 1975

      Re: And if you watched "Armstrong"

      I was under the impression that the side-swinging LM forward hatch essentially required that the mission commander (Armstrong) had to egress first…

    3. Bubba Von Braun

      Re: And if you watched "Armstrong"

      It was Aldrin's desperate aspiration.. fact was vehicle design was already complete by the point they were assigned.

      With the door opening to the right, it was always going to be Armstrong first.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    New person in Charge of NASA is a Trump person

    If I were an astronaut I would resign as I would not trust the clown Trump put in charge (Jim Bridenstine).

  9. Bubba Von Braun

    Messr Kraft and Kranz are the reason I do what I do today in amateur rocketry. I always thought mission control was the cool place to be.

    I recall a quote (cant recall where) but when asked about the EVA what was the most important thing Armstrong and Aldrin do. His response was to "Get off there and come home"

    A great loss, but spaceflight stands on his shoulders, for his leadership in mission planning, management and flight control.

    Oh little trivia.. Kraft never saw a manned launch in person ever!

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