At Large  July 2, 2019  Chandra Noyes

NASA Opens Restored Mission Control Space Center


Overall view of the Mission Operations Control Room in the Mission Control Center, Building 30, during the Apollo 9 Earth-orbital mission.

July 20 will mark the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission this month, and preparations to celebrate this historic moment are underway across the country. But this anniversary is perhaps felt nowhere more strongly than where much of the action took base—at Johnson Space Center in Houston, home of the Mission Control that launched the famed flight into space.

To mark the occasion, Johnson Space Center has painstakingly restored Mission Control to its former glory, referencing historical photos and documents to recreate the room exactly how it was in 1969. From fully-functioning electronics, to period furniture and paperwork, down to cigarette packs and coke cans, the room, reopened this week, now gives the more than a million annual visitors to the Johnson Space Center the opportunity to step into history and relive this incredible moment.


Mission Control Celebrates After Conclusion of Apollo 11

Original Apollo Flight Director Gene Kranz lead the $5 million restoration, a seven-month process with years of planning behind it. Franz gave the restored facility his blessing at the ribbon cutting, telling NPR in an interview that the results are “dynamite,” and that seeing it completed was an emotional experience.

M.S. Rau Antiques

Neil Armstrong Van Cleef & Arpels brooch

Public tours of Mission Control began this week, but if you’re unable to visit Houston and still want to get your Apollo 11 fix, there are a variety of ways to celebrate this historic moment in human history. The National Air and Space Museum is selling commemorative coins, and of course has a slew of exhibitions and events, including the display of Neil Armstrong’s original spacesuit. Sotheby’s New York will auction The Best Surviving NASA Videotape Recordings Of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing at its July 20 Space Exploration auction. M.S. Rau Antiques even has a Van Cleef & Arpels lunar brooch to offer. Presented to Neil Armstrong and worn by his wife on their worldwide "Goodwill Tour," it features a diamond encircled by five rubies, which mark the spot on a yellow gold lunar surface where the landing was made. The Metropolitan Museum of Art will open a lunar photography exhibition this week, showcasing photographs the astronauts themselves took, as well as man's fascination with the moon, as seen throughout art history.

About the Author

Chandra Noyes

Chandra Noyes is Managing Editor for Art & Object.

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