Author Topic: NASA Honors America's First Flight Director Chris Kraft  (Read 630 times)

Offline jacqmans

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Sept. 21, 2006

Doc Mirelson/Dave Steitz
Headquarters, Washington



NASA will honor Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., for his key involvement in
America's space programs with the presentation of the Ambassador of
Exploration Award. The ceremony is at 10:30 a.m. EDT Saturday, Sept.
30, in the Inn at Virginia Tech University, Blacksburg, Va.

NASA is presenting the Ambassador of Exploration Award to the
astronauts and other key individuals who participated in the Mercury,
Gemini, and Apollo space programs for realizing America's vision of
space exploration from 1961 to 1972.

Kraft originally joined the National Advisory Committee for
Aeronautics, NASA's predecessor agency, in 1945. In 1958, he joined
the newly created NASA as one of the original members of the Space
Task Group organized to design and manage Project Mercury. He was
America's first manned space mission flight director, managing all of
the Mercury and several Gemini missions.

Kraft served as director of NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston
from January 1972 to August 1982. He was one of the designers and
implementers of the Mission Control Center in Houston, the heart of
all NASA crewed space missions. After his retirement from federal
service in 1982, he served as an aerospace consultant for numerous

The Ambassador of Exploration Award is a small sample of the 842
pounds of the lunar material collected during the six Apollo moon
landings from 1969 to 1972. The sample is encased in Lucite and
mounted for public display. The material for Kraft's award came from
the samples brought back by the crew of Apollo 11, the first to land
on the moon in 1969.

Kraft's award will be displayed at Virginia Tech's College of
Engineering. For College of Engineering and event information,
contact Lynn Nystrom at: 540-231-4371; e-mail: [email protected]

For Kraft biographical information, visit:

Video from the event will air as a NASA TV Video File. For NASA TV
streaming video, scheduling and digital downlink information visit:

For information about NASA and agency programs visit:


Offline vt_hokie

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RE: NASA Honors America's First Flight Director Chris Kraft
« Reply #1 on: 09/21/2006 10:37 pm »

Why do people always call it "Virginia Tech University" though...sometimes I wish they'd just go back to VPI!   ;)  I had forgotten that Chris Kraft was an alumnus....that's pretty cool!   :)