NASA recreates Apollo control room

The new exhibit is accurate down to the coffee cups and ashtrays.

Posted: Jul 15, 2019 12:25 PM
Updated: Jul 15, 2019 12:46 PM

HOUSTON, Texas -- To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, NASA reopened the historic and newly-restored Apollo Mission Control Center. Officials say it has been recreated to appear as it did on July 20, 1969.

Apollo 11 flight director Gene Kranz said it feels like he's stepping back in time.

"The people that lived here, and worked here, the room talks to them," Kranz said.

The $8.5 million project recreated every detail, down to the data on the computer screens, the ashtrays, and even a specific crewmember's coffee cup.

"We had to get the exact colors of coffee cups, even the patterns of coffee cups," Sandra Tetly, Johnson Space Center's historic preservation officer, said. "The girl that was in charge of this spent hours and hours on eBay and Etsy and antique shops and thrift stores. It needs to be exact because you are telling history."

Krantz says it's nearly perfect, and walking into the restored room brings back the raw emotion of that historic day.

"This room was really stirring, and the emotional intensity in this room was almost overwhelming," he said. "It was the kind of thing that only happens once in your life."

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