Space Center Houston Welcomes Visitors to the Newly Restored Apollo Mission Control Center

By: Meridyth Moore
| Published 06/28/2019

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HOUSTON, TX – It’s mission accomplished for the restoration of NASA’s Apollo Mission Control Center. The nonprofit Space Center Houston welcomes people from around the world to experience the historic room that helped land humans on the Moon.

NASA and Space Center Houston leadership, city of Webster officials and Apollo legend and flight director Gene Kranz joined a ribbon-cutting ceremony to commemorate the official unveiling of the restored Apollo Mission Control Center.

“Thanks to the city of Webster and worldwide support, the treasured landmark is now restored, preserving it for future generations,” said William T. Harris, president and CEO of Space Center Houston. “We can gain incredible insight through the accomplishments of the Apollo era, and the room will continue to inspire people and innovators to chase their dreams.”

Beginning July 1, Space Center Houston guests can see the newly restored room as part of the center’s NASA Tram Tours and Level 9 VIP Tours. The restoration of Apollo Mission Control is complete just in time for guests to experience the legacy of the Apollo era as the world celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing this July.

Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1985, the room celebrates human space exploration and inspires people from around the world who visit. Space Center Houston, the city of Webster and NASA Johnson Space Center worked together over two years to restore the room that fueled the space race and innovation that changed the course of history.

The restoration project was for the National Historic Landmark, the Apollo Mission Control Center at NASA Johnson Space Center. The room, used during the Gemini, Apollo and Shuttle eras, underwent restoration beginning in July 2017.

The scope of the restoration project included the Mission Operations Control Room (MOCR), the Visitor Viewing Room, Simulation Control Room and the Summary Display Projection Room (also called the 'bat cave'). Guests will now see the restored flight control consoles with buttons illuminated and their screens displaying data used during the Apollo 11 mission. The five large screens across the front of the room have been reactivated with projections to recreate the exact images seen during the Apollo 11 mission. Other details include period-authentic coat racks, chairs and a coffee station. Furnishings on the consoles include flight control manuals, ashtrays, pens, maps, coffee cups and headsets.

Space Center Houston guests will sit in the original viewing room seats, which have been reinforced and reupholstered. The experience displays an accurate look of the iconic room based on the Apollo era.

To support the restoration, the city of Webster gave the lead gift of $3.5 million toward the $5 million fundraising campaign. In July 2017, Space Center Houston conducted a Kickstarter campaign where thousands of people from around the world contributed to the center’s fundraising campaign which helped achieve the completion of the restoration.

The restored room is a symbol of ingenuity, perseverance and remarkable technological advancements. Experience the restored Apollo Mission Control Center as a part of the Apollo anniversary celebrations. Space Center Houston will celebrate the historic first steps on the Moon with a spectacular lineup of events including “Apollo 11 50th Live, presented by JSC Federal Credit Union,” an all-day festival on July 20 celebrating the legacy of the Apollo era and the future of space exploration. The festival will culminate with an evening concert featuring performances by WALK THE MOON and Phillip Phillips.

Apollo 11 anniversary celebration tickets are on sale now. Visit spacecenter.org for more information about the activities and hours of operation during this special period. Be a part of the celebration. Join the conversation, use #ApolloHOU. Become a member and come back free as often as you like for one year. Start making your plans now!

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