Did you know that Houston declared Oct. 23 Gene Kranz Day to honor the legendary NASA flight director?

Kranz joined the NASA Space Task Group at Langley, Virginia, in 1960 and was assigned the position of assistant flight director for Project Mercury.

He assumed flight director duties for all Project Gemini Missions, and was branch chief for Flight Control Operations. He was selected as division chief for Flight Control in 1968, and continued his duties as a flight director for the Apollo 11 Lunar Landing before taking over the leadership of the Apollo 13 “Tiger Team.” He retired from NASA in 1994. Click here to read his full biography.

During the Apollo 17 mission, the last mission to the Moon, Kranz wore an iconic red, white and blue vest, which you can see in Starship Gallery at Space Center Houston.

Space Center Houston celebrated Kranz’s accomplishments at the Moon and Beyond fall luncheon on Oct. 23. Kranz was honored for his extraordinary contributions to human space exploration as well as his leadership in the Historic Mission Control restoration project at NASA Johnson Space Center. Proceeds from the luncheon will benefit Space Center Houston’s $5 million campaign, On a Mission, in support of the restoration of NASA Johnson Space Center’s historic Mission Operations Control Room.