Christ Kraft, NASA’s first flight director, ‘a nationwide treasure,’ useless at 95


NASA’s first flight director, the legendary Christopher Columbus Kraft Jr., died Monday in Houston on the age of 95.

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Though he by no means flew in house, Kraft was one among NASA’s first staff and was instrumental in creating the U.S. house program. He managed all of the Mercury missions and a number of the Gemini flights, according to NPR. He was the senior planner through the Apollo lunar missions and later led the Johnson House Heart. He additionally managed the event of the house shuttle program.



NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine referred to as Kraft “a national treasure,” noting that Kraft was flight director throughout a number of the most iconic moments in house historical past, together with as “humans first orbited the Earth and stepped outside of an orbiting spacecraft.”

“We stand on his shoulders as we reach deeper into the solar system,” Bridenstine said.



NASA credit Kraft with creating the idea of Mission Management through the early human spaceflight program.

The primary man to stroll on the moon, astronaut Neil Armstrong, as soon as referred to as him “the man who was the ‘Control’ in Mission Control,” The Associated Press reported.

“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 guide “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,” he stated.

Kraft died simply two days after the 50th anniversary of arguably his and NASA’s best achievement: The Apollo 11 moon mission that included the primary lunar touchdown.







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