пятница, 19 июля 2019 г.

#TBT to 1969: The Restoration of The Apollo Mission Control Center

On July 20, 1969 the Apollo Mission Control Center landed men on the Moon with only seconds of fuel left. 

Just after the spacecraft safely touched down on the lunar surface, Charlie Duke said to the crew, “Roger, Tranquility. We copy you on the ground. You got a bunch of guys about to turn blue—we’re breathing again. Thanks a lot.” The hard work and preparation of the men who stayed back on Earth was what made John F. Kennedy’s dreams of space exploration come true. 

Today, the facility these men worked in has been restored to its Apollo-era appearance, forever preserving this National Historic Landmark.

It took the restoration crew roughly six years to return the Apollo Mission Control Room to its original retro appearance. Every inch of the room was cleaned and restored by workers, enhancing the 1960s pistachio palette seen on the consoles, as well as ridding the room of 50-year-old gum stuck in places people thought would never be found. Let that be a lesson to us all.

From the artifacts sitting on the consoles to the displays projected at the front of the room, every detail has been carefully put in its proper place. Peep the American flag hanging in the back of the room—this flag went to the Moon on Apollo 17, was planted in the ground, then returned home as a souvenir. Next to the flag, a duplicate of the plaque placed on the Moon hangs on the wall.

Perhaps the only aspect of the room that wasn’t preserved was the thick stench of smoke, burnt coffee, banana peels and pizza boxes. But the ashtrays, pipes, cigarettes and coffee mugs sit in the room as reminders of the aroma. And yes, the Styrofoam cup is authentic to the ‘60s—it’s not an original artifact, but we’re certain this one will last for years to come.

In case you’re worried we didn’t get detailed enough, check the binders in the room. Each one is filled with authentic documents that would’ve been used during the Apollo missions. Some of the documents have been recreated, but many of them were copied from originals that employees had saved for 50 years.

Each console was rigged to send tubes throughout the building, often filled with important documents, but also stuffed with sandwiches and cake (all of the essentials to send men to the Moon).

Several of the surviving Apollo alumni visited mission control for the grand opening of the room at the end of June. Except for the smoke, they say the room looks just as they remember it did 50 years ago. It’s one giant leap—back in time.

This week, you can watch us salute our #Apollo50th heroes and look forward to our next giant leap for future missions to the Moon and Mars. Tune in: https://go.nasa.gov/Apollo50thEvents

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com.

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