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Stone retired from NASA in 2004 following a remarkable 36-year career that included work on the Apollo lunar missions, Skylab, the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station.
A native Texan, Stone began his career with NASA in 1967 when Johnson Space Center was known as the Manned Spacecraft Center. He started out working as a systems engineer supporting landing and recovery of the Apollo spacecraft.
He was a flight controller and flight director ("Amber Flight") in the Mission Control Center for almost 30 years and was named Chief of the Flight Director Office in 1989.
[i][b]Above:[/b] Flight Director Randy Stone (center) with Gene Kranz (left) and astronaut Jerry Ross in Mission Control.[/i]
From 1992 to 2001, he served as Director of Mission Operations, where he was responsible for oversight of Space Station and Space Shuttle missions before assuming the role of Associate Director, Management (acting). He was named Deputy Director in November 2001.
Upon his retirement, Stone shared his thoughts about his JSC career.
[i][b]What NASA experiences stand out the most?[/b]
My participation in the recovering of the Apollo astronauts on Apollo 7, 8, 9, 11, 12 and 13.
The biggest thrills were handling the Apollo 11 Moon rock box when it was flown off the USS Hornet, being in the MQF with Pete Conrad, Al Bean, and Dick Gordon and lastly seeing the parachute open on Apollo 13.
Getting ready to fly STS-1, having to say we were "no go for launch" on the first real attempt and then feeling the unbelievable relief and elation when John Young and Bob Crippen called "wheel stop" after landing.
Being selected as a Flight Director in 1981, Director of MOD in 1992 and being asked to be Deputy Center Director. Those were jobs that had been held by my heroes. To this day I have to pinch myself to know that it was really me who had the honor of following in the footsteps of such great people.[/i]
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