Monday, July 01, 2019
NASA has restored the original control room used in the moon landings 50 years ago. It was at the behest of the flight director at the time, Gene Kranz, who raised $5 million for the project. The conservators worked to capture the details of the room from its buttons through its screens, ashtrays and coffee pot. The room had been decommissioned by NASA in 1992 and was allowed to fall into disrepair. Even though it will never be used again because its technology is woefully dated, it will remain as a stop on tours of the facilities. The control room will be a reminder of the historic days when man first flew to another celestial body and stepped on it. NASA has never reached the pinnacle of manned flight since, but it has continued a string of successes with unmanned rovers and satellites. It is great PR to remind Americans of what we can do when challenged. Fifty years seems eons ago even to those who witnessed Armstrong stepping down the ladder. Today there is talk of Mars but it would take many billions to design, build and test machinery that could adequately protect humans and keep them nourished and psychologically fit for an entire year. Returning to the moon makes more sense and that is what several countries are racing to do.