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Heroes of Space: Gene Kranz

2 Apr 2018, 03:00 UTC
Heroes of Space: Gene Kranz
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Eugene Francis “Gene” Kranz, born in Toledo, Ohio, USA on 17 August 1933, developed an early interest in aeronautics that would lead to a long and distinguished career with NASA.
After growing up on a farm, Kranz headed to Parks College in St. Louis, Missouri to study aeronautical engineering in 1954. He then spent four years in the Air Force before joining NASA, where his first role was at the Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia in 1960 in the Flight Control Operations Branch of the NASA Space Task Group. His first taste of space came on the first and third Mercury missions, in 1961 and 1962 respectively, during which he integrated Mercury Control with the Launch Control Team. For the fourth Mercury mission he was promoted to Assistant Flight Director, and by the fourth Gemini mission he was serving as Flight Director.
When the Apollo missions were announced, Kranz was assigned to all the odd numbered missions. This included Apollo 11, with Kranz present in the control room when Armstrong and Aldrin stepped on to the surface. He is most famous, however, for his role in the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission. When an oxygen tank ruptured and left the ...

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