Choose your color scheme:
The Vette Barn  
 
Go Back   The Vette Barn > Off Topic/Babes/Other > Off Topic

Off Topic Off Topic - General non-Corvette related discussion.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Share Thread Tools
Old 07-23-2019, 6:14am   #1
VITE1
Barn Stall Owner #69
Bantayan Kids '14,'15,'17
GTMS ‘18
Points: 44,744, Level: 100
Activity: 8.3%
 
VITE1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Port Saint Lucie FL
Posts: 31,197
Thanks: 15,373
Thanked 8,187 Times in 4,302 Posts
Gameroom Barn Bucks: $1082228
Default Chris Kraft, 1st NASA Flight director has died.

https://www.wmur.com/article/chris-k...kvAsUAkC3mqBo0

He had a upfront seat to history on several occasion.


Quote:
WASHINGTON —
Chris Kraft, who created NASA's Mission Control and made split-second white-knuckle decisions from the first daring Mercury mission to the triumphant moon landings, has died. He was 95.

Kraft died Monday in Houston, NASA said. It was just two days after the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

Advertisement
Christopher Columbus Kraft Jr. never flew in space, but "held the success or failure of American human spaceflight in his hands," Neil Armstrong, the first man-on-the-moon, told The Associated Press in 2011.

Kraft founded Mission Control and created the job of flight director — later comparing it to an orchestra conductor — and established how flights would be run as the space race between the U.S. and Soviets heated up. The legendary engineer served as flight director for all of the one-man Mercury flights and seven of the two-man Gemini flights, helped design the Apollo missions that took 12 Americans to the moon from 1969 to 1972 and later served as director of the Johnson Space Center until 1982, overseeing the beginning of the era of the space shuttle.

Armstrong once called him "the man who was the 'Control' in Mission Control."

"From the moment the mission starts until the moment the crew is safe on board a recovery ship, I'm in charge," Kraft wrote in his 2002 book "Flight: My Life in Mission Control."

"No one can overrule me. ... They can fire me after it's over. But while the mission is under way, I'm Flight. And Flight is God."

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine Monday called Kraft "a national treasure," saying "We stand on his shoulders as we reach deeper into the solar system, and he will always be with us on those journeys."

Kraft became known as "the father of Mission Control" and in 2011 NASA returned the favor by naming the Houston building that houses the nerve center after Kraft.

"It's where the heart of the mission is," Kraft said in an April 2010 AP interview. "It's where decisions are made every day, small and large ... We realized that the people that had the moxie, that had the knowledge, were there and could make the decisions."

That's what Chris Kraft's Mission Control was about: smart people with knowledge discussing options quickly and the flight director making a quick, informed decision, said former Smithsonian Institution space historian Roger Launius. It's the place that held its collective breath as Neil Armstrong was guiding the Eagle lunar lander on the moon while fuel was running out. And it's the place that improvised a last-minute rescue of Apollo 13 — a dramatic scenario that later made the unsung engineers heroes in a popular movie.

"It was a wonderful life. I can't think of anything that an aeronautical engineer would get more out of, than what we were asked to do in the space program, in the '60s," Kraft said on NASA's website marking the 50th anniversary of the agency in 2008.

In the early days of Mercury at Florida's Cape Canaveral, before Mission Control moved to Houston in 1965, there were no computer displays, "all you had was grease pencils," Kraft recalled. The average age of the flight control team was 26; Kraft was 38.

"We didn't know a damn thing about putting a man into space," Kraft wrote in his autobiography. "We had no idea how much it should or would cost. And at best, we were engineers trained to do, not business experts trained to manage."

NASA trailed the Soviet space program and suffered through many failed launches in the early days, before the manned flights began in 1961. Kraft later recalled thinking President John F. Kennedy "had lost his mind" when in May 1961 he set as a goal a manned trip to the moon "before this decade is out."

"We had a total of 15 minutes of manned spaceflight experience, we hadn't flown Mercury in orbit yet, and here's a guy telling me we're going to fly to the moon. ... Doing it was one thing, but doing it in this decade was to me too risky," Kraft told AP in 1989.

"Frankly it scared the hell out of me," he said at a 2009 lecture at the Smithsonian.

One of the most dramatic moments came during Scott Carpenter's May 1962 mission as the second American to orbit the earth. Carpenter landed 288 miles off target because of low fuel and other problems. He was eventually found safely floating in his life raft. Kraft blamed Carpenter for making poor decisions. Tom Wolfe's book "The Right Stuff" said Kraft angrily vowed that Carpenter "will never fly for me again!" But Carpenter said he did the best he could when the machinery malfunctioned.

After the two-man Gemini flights, Kraft moved up NASA management to be in charge of manned spaceflight and was stunned by the Apollo 1 training fire that killed three astronauts.

Gene Kranz, who later would become NASA's flight director for the Apollo mission that took man to the moon, said Kraft did not at first impress him as a leader. But Kranz eventually saw Kraft as similar to a judo instructor, allowing his student to grow in skills, then stepping aside.

"Chris Kraft had pioneered Mission Control and fought the battles in Mercury and Gemini, serving as the role model of the flight director. He proved the need for real-time leadership," Kranz wrote in his book, "Failure Is Not An Option: Mission Control from Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond."

NASA eventually beat Kennedy's deadline, landing the first men on the moon in July 1969. Kranz watched from Mission Control as his underlings controlled Apollo 11, but then for the near-disaster in flight on Apollo 13, he stepped in for the key decisions. He later became head of NASA's Johnson Space Center.

Born in 1924, Kraft grew up in Phoebus, Va., now part of Hampton, about 75 miles southeast of Richmond. In his autobiography, Kraft said with the name Christopher Columbus Kraft Jr., "some of my life's direction was settled from the start."

After graduating from Virginia Polytechnic Institute in 1944, Kraft took a job with aircraft manufacturer Chance Vought to build warplanes, but he quickly realized it wasn't for him. He returned to Virginia where he accepted a job with the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, not far from Phoebus.

Kraft's first job was to figure out what happens to airplanes as they approach the speed of sound.

After his retirement, Kraft served as an aerospace consultant and was chairman of a panel in the mid-1990s looking for a cheaper way to manage the shuttle program. Kraft's panel recommended a contractor take over the day-to-day operations of the shuttle.

Later, as the space shuttle program was being phased out after 30 years, Kraft blasted as foolish the decision to retire the shuttles, which he called "the safest machines ever built." He said President Barack Obama's plan to head toward an asteroid and Mars instead of the moon was "all hocus-pocus."

Kraft said he considered himself fortunate to be part of the team that sent Americans to space and called it a sad day when the shuttles stopped flying.

"The people of Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo are blossoms on the moon. Their spirits will live there forever," he wrote. "I was part of that crowd, then part of the 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."

Kraft and his wife, Betty Anne, were married in 1950. They had a son, Gordon, and a daughter, Kristi-Anne.
VITE1 is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to VITE1 For This Useful Post:
Old 07-23-2019, 6:42am   #2
snide
Barn Raising II,III
NCM Supporter '13
Bantayan Kids '17
Points: 92,073, Level: 100
Activity: 99.7%
 
snide's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: I could never live there.
Posts: 53,902
Thanks: 27,708
Thanked 10,894 Times in 5,676 Posts
Gameroom Barn Bucks: $118007782
Default

Bummer.
snide is online now   Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to snide For This Useful Post:
Old 07-23-2019, 7:02am   #3
mrvette
Latin American Goat Roper
Barn Stall Owner #101
Bantayan Kids '13
Points: 81,305, Level: 100
Activity: 68.1%
 
mrvette's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Orange Park Florida
Posts: 47,531
Thanks: 23,422
Thanked 6,751 Times in 3,785 Posts
Gameroom Barn Bucks: $1131547
Default

Wasn't till I saw his name in print, that he was no longer associated with a BOAT!!!!
mrvette is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to mrvette For This Useful Post:
Old 07-23-2019, 7:06am   #4
Lakeside49
Vette Barn Crew
Points: 2,476, Level: 32
Activity: 13.0%
 
Lakeside49's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 107
Thanks: 28
Thanked 44 Times in 23 Posts
Gameroom Barn Bucks: $900
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by VITE1 View Post
https://www.wmur.com/article/chris-k...kvAsUAkC3mqBo0



He had a upfront seat to history on several occasion.


Thanks for sharing. As a Nation we owe him a debt of gratitude - on several levels.
Am glad that God let him bask in his program’s 50th anniversary festivities among us before recalling him to Heaven to personally congratulate him for such a successful mission here... and, probably extending the celebration up there.
Lakeside49 is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Lakeside49 For This Useful Post:
Old 07-23-2019, 7:59am   #5
Grey Ghost
A Real Barner
Points: 32,336, Level: 100
Activity: 28.2%
 
Grey Ghost's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: GA
Posts: 16,085
Thanks: 8,130
Thanked 4,826 Times in 2,261 Posts
Gameroom Barn Bucks: $44344
Default

I've always thought that a career in NASA in those early days would have been fun.
Grey Ghost is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Grey Ghost For This Useful Post:
Old 07-23-2019, 9:39am   #6
mrvette
Latin American Goat Roper
Barn Stall Owner #101
Bantayan Kids '13
Points: 81,305, Level: 100
Activity: 68.1%
 
mrvette's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Orange Park Florida
Posts: 47,531
Thanks: 23,422
Thanked 6,751 Times in 3,785 Posts
Gameroom Barn Bucks: $1131547
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grey Ghost View Post
I've always thought that a career in NASA in those early days would have been fun.
I had applied as an ET with many fed.gov agencies, and deep desire to play with the best toys.....but without an engineering degree, fuggetaboutit!!!

so I stuck it out for 20 years and finally gave up on our electronics industry.....

went into home remodeling, figgering on 'let them import HOUSES'.....and damn if they don't....

as I checked out the ConEx boxes in the SW many years ago.....

mrvette is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

The Vette Barn > Off Topic/Babes/Other > Off Topic


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:01am.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright © 2009 - 2019 The Vette Barn


Support the Barn:
 
Download the Mobile App;
 
Follow us on Facebook:

Become a Stall Owner

 

Apple iOS App        Google Android App

 

Visit our Facebook page