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Author Topic:   NASA Mission Control Centers (Mercury and Kraft)
Buel
Member

Posts: 177
From: UK
Registered: Mar 2012

posted 10-29-2013 06:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Buel   Click Here to Email Buel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Please can anyone point me towards any sites that contain good pictures or video of the early Mercury Control Centre?

I would also appreciate any pictures (or even video) of Christopher C. Kraft, Jr. Mission Control Center (MCC) in Houston.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 28830
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-29-2013 06:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The January 2010 NASA EDGE vodcast (video podcast) profiles the Mercury Mission Control Center — showing both the interior of the original building and its restored contents.
Highlighting the historic and groundbreaking achievements during the Mercury program, NASA EDGE visits the original Mercury Mission Control Center and the newly restored Mercury Mission Control Center exhibit at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida. Program Design Specialist Luis Berrios talks about the many technical details that went into restoring this historic facility while trying to keep the Co-Host from playing flight director.

Our own photo gallery documenting the demolition of the Mercury Control Center building also included a few archival photos from inside (scroll to the bottom).

Buel
Member

Posts: 177
From: UK
Registered: Mar 2012

posted 10-29-2013 07:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Buel   Click Here to Email Buel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you Robert.

The pictures of Mercury Control being demolished are incredibly sad.

It is very difficult (almost impossible) to understand that such a historical site was not able to be preserved.

Fra Mauro
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Posts: 1079
From: Maspeth, NY
Registered: Jul 2002

posted 10-29-2013 08:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fra Mauro   Click Here to Email Fra Mauro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It all comes down to money and they value that is placed on the building. NASA is struggling to keep things moving, and Congress won't provide the funding. Perhaps there should have been a request for donations but at least some of the equipment was preserved.

cycleroadie
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Posts: 292
From: Apalachin, NY USA
Registered: May 2011

posted 10-29-2013 10:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cycleroadie   Click Here to Email cycleroadie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Where is this exhibit? Out on the "Then and Now" tour?

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 28830
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-29-2013 10:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Mercury Control Center exhibit is in the Early Exploration Gallery on the main campus of the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. With the new entrance to the complex, it is the first building you encounter, adjacent to the Rocket Garden.

Rocketman!
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Posts: 55
From: Redmond, Washington, USA
Registered: Dec 2007

posted 10-29-2013 04:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rocketman!   Click Here to Email Rocketman!     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Does anyone know what happened to the red Mercury capsule tracking icon that appears at 5:06 in the NASA EDGE vodcast video that Robert posted? I seem to recall that it was featured in a Smithsonian book of space artifacts some years ago.

The black one they have in the restored exhibit spoils the look for me. It is as if they cut one of those large scale G.I. Joe capsules in half and used it for the exhibit instead of the real thing (or even an authentic looking recreation). Anyone else think it looks out of place?

Buel
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Posts: 177
From: UK
Registered: Mar 2012

posted 11-04-2013 04:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Buel   Click Here to Email Buel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well, after watching the video Robert kindly posted and looking at the images in the gallery I am left with a feeling of incredible sadness that Mercury Control is no more.

I know there will be some who say that it still survives in one sense as everything has been 'restored' and moved... but it's not the same really.

I have heard that there was a debate whether it would have been worth the millions to restore it and keep it where it was and I'm sure there were good arguments either way, but I still feel that in 50 or so years time, when the reality sets in regarding the achievements in those early days of manned spaceflight, that people will be incredulous that the first Mission Control wasn't saved.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 28830
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-04-2013 05:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Keep in mind, the building was not designed or built to be a mission control.

It was a radar building before being repurposed as Mercury Mission Control, so it is not as though there was something unique about its architecture or even heritage to distinguish it from any other number of buildings standing at the cape in 1959.

mercsim
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Posts: 141
From: Phoenix, AZ
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 11-04-2013 05:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mercsim   Click Here to Email mercsim     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Rocketman!:
Does anyone know what happened to the red Mercury capsule tracking icon...
The tracking icon in the Smithsonian collection. I don't think its on display.

You can find some nice period video on YouTube. Search "Mercury Mission Control" and also the MR-3 and MR-4 flights.

I laid out the floor plan and started drawing the consoles in CAD with the intention of making a nice paper model diorama of the original MCC. One day...

While they did a very nice job preserving and moving, it's quite different than the way it was for Mercury. MCC was modified for the first two Gemini flights and never really put it back. It's still pretty cool.

Buel
Member

Posts: 177
From: UK
Registered: Mar 2012

posted 11-05-2013 02:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Buel   Click Here to Email Buel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mercsim:
I laid out the floor plan and started drawing the consoles in CAD with the intention of making a nice paper model diorama of the original MCC. One day...
Oh you HAVE to finish that. That sounds tremendous!!

drscoop
Member

Posts: 23
From: Macclesfield, UK
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 11-13-2013 07:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for drscoop     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Rocketman!:
I don't think its on display.
The Mercury tracking icon was on display at the Udvar-Hazy Center during my visit in April, sitting in a display case near Freedom 7 II, by Discovery.

Buel
Member

Posts: 177
From: UK
Registered: Mar 2012

posted 02-14-2014 09:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Buel   Click Here to Email Buel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Please can I ask if anyone on here can point me towards any more images of either Mercury Control or the MOCR in Houston (during the Gemini/Apollo missions)?

The only site I can find that contains decent pictures is the official NASA website but I imagine there surely must be more?

Thank you in advance!

hotdog
New Member

Posts: 4
From: Chattanooga, TN
Registered: Dec 2011

posted 02-14-2014 09:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for hotdog   Click Here to Email hotdog     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here are some images I took of the Mercury Control Room when I was at the KSC visitor center back in November.

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