In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing, NASA has restored the Mission Control Center at the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston from which the mission was overseen.
“By restoring the Apollo Mission Control Center, NASA is preserving the rich history of a remarkable achievement in human spaceflight,” said Restoration Project Manager Jim Thornton. “This will not only help share our history with visitors from around the world, but also remind our current employees who are planning missions to send humans back to the Moon and then further to Mars, that anything is possible and we are standing on the shoulders of giants.”
The room had been partially restored to its Apollo-era configuration over the years but a concerted effort did not begin until 2017. The Manned Space Flight Education Foundation spearheaded fundraising for the restoration raising $5 million for the project, with $3.5 million being donated by the nearby city of Webster in Texas.
To ensure authenticity, the restoration team included members of the Apollo Mission Control teams. In addition to the main control room, the visitor’s gallery and adjacent simulation support room were also restored. Where possible, artifacts like control consoles and displays were cleaned and restored. Several items including some of the team members’ personal items were recreated based on original samples. Items recreated included paint colours, clothing items, coffee mugs, carpets, and even ashtrays.