Mission Control Center

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Virtual Tour of Facility

[top] History

Mission Control, Houston has been the focus of manned space flight since 1965 when it replaced the Mercury Control Center at Cape Canaveral. The original MCC room was a technological wonder of the world when it was built. The NASA-unique equipment and massive hardware orientation of the historic room filled the entire first floor. The original MCC room was where most lunar missions were controlled and was called Mission Operations Control Room during the Apollo Era. It is now an exhibit area for visitors.

The MCC has controlled all flights of the Apollo, Skylab, Apollo/Soyuz, and Space Shuttle programs, and all but one Gemini mission. Mission Control operates around-the-clock to support maintenance, development, testing, training and shuttle flight operations. Using domestic satellites and a vast network of circuits that comprise the NASA communications network, MCC can reach around the world to combine resources to support shuttle flight operations.

In 1992, MCC was enlarged with the addition of the five-story building which houses the new Flight Control Rooms and various support rooms for Space Shuttle, International Space Station, Payload Operations Control Center, and the Mission Operations and Integration Room, now known as the Mission Evaluation Room. The MCC has two operational flight control rooms, two Apollo-era control rooms, and a training room.

Mission Operations Control Room #1 was used for launching the Saturn 1B vehicle, including Apollo 7, Skylab, Apollo-Soyuz, and most of the unclassified Space Shuttle Missions. The last complete Shuttle flight (STS-71) was in June 1995. The last of the transition flights was the ascent of STS-76 In March 1996. There were 50 flights controlled from this room. The room has been deactivated.

Mission Operations Control Room #2 was used for the control of all Gemini flights and all lunar landings. All Apollo manned launches, except Apollo 7, were controlled from Room #2, including Apollo 11 in 1969 when Astronaut Neil Armstrong made the first walk on the lunar surface. The last operational use of the room was for STS-53 in 1992. The room was then preserved as a National Historic Landmark as the control room for the first human landing on the moon. Click here to see the room's flight controller positions.

[top] Photos

[top] Documents

1983-1990 Chronological Summary of Historic Preservation Notifications at the Apollo Mission Control Center

1984 Man in Space National Historic Landmark Theme Study Phase II

1985 Designation of JSC National Historic Landmarks

1987 JSC Honor Stands in the Way of Addition

1987 NASA Modifications Threaten Integrity

1988 Disney Imagineering's Design Approved for the Houston Space Center

1988 Memorandum of Agreement Between NASA, Texas Historical Commission, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation

1989 Letter to Governor Clements - Apollo Mission Control Preservation

1989 Letter to Governor Clements - Modifications to the Mission Control Center

1989 Letter to President Bush - Mission Control Center as a Historical Landmark

1990 Construction of Addition to Mission Control Center - Drawing

1990 MCC Development History

1993 This is Mission Control, Houston

1994 Old, new meet in Mission Control

1996 Mission Control Center (MCC) Historical Control Room

Hand-written Notes on Mission Control Center

Mission Control Photographs

NASA Facts - Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center

NASA Facts - Mission Control Center

NASA Facts - Project Apollo

NASA Mission Control Center - Manned Spacecraft Center Houston, Texas

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