Photos: Inside NASA’s Mission Control in Houston

11 photos
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Space Center Houston
An overall view of the consoles used in Historic Mission Control. The consoles used by multiple flight directors contained no computing elements - they displayed only different information channels coming in from the mainframe. Of the hundreds of buttons, monitors and controls located at these flight controller stations, many have gone missing or have become faded after decades of use.
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Space Center Houston
A view of a worn-down console in Historic Mission Control. After decades of use, the buttons have gone missing or have become faded, the paint has become chipped and scratched and the monitor has become discolored.
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Space Center Houston
Flight controllers in Historic Mission Control didn’t have text messages or email to communicate with each other during the Apollo era. They used a Private Automatic Branch Exchange panel complete with a rotary dial to communicate with other controllers within Mission Control. After decades of use, the buttons have become faded, the paint has become scratched and the metal components have become rusted.
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Space Center Houston
The front row of controllers in Historic Mission Control was referred to as “The Trench” by the flight controllers. Each control station was responsible for a different aspect of a mission. From left to right, the stations are Booster System Engineer, Retrofire Officer, Flight Dynamics Officer and Guidance Officer. Of the hundreds of buttons and controls located at these stations, many have gone missing or have become faded after decades of use. Some of the work stations are even held together by tape.
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Space Center Houston
Flight controllers in Historic Mission Control didn’t have the touch screen technologies that are prevalent today. They utilized notification panels like this to help track the information relayed from space to Earth.
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Space Center Houston
A front view of the iconic green consoles in Historic Mission Control. After decades of use, the carpet in the room has become stained and is deteriorating.
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Space Center Houston
The last row in Historic Mission Control hosted the stations of Public Affairs Office, Director of Flight Operations, Mission Operations Directorate and Department of Defense. The iconic red phone located at the Department of Defense station was used to directly call the Navy when a capsule returning to Earth was about to splashdown. On the right is the viewing room of 74 seats that hosted the families of astronauts and special guests.
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Space Center Houston
Of the hundreds of buttons and controls located at these flight controller stations in Historic Mission Control, many have gone missing or have become faded after decades of use.
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Space Center Houston
An overall view of the consoles used in Historic Mission Control. The consoles used by multiple flight directors contained no computing elements - they displayed only different information channels coming in from the mainframe. On the left side of the console is a pneumatic tube station through which controllers passed papers between consoles. Of the hundreds of buttons, monitors and controls located at these flight controller stations, many have gone missing or have become faded after decades of use.
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Space Center Houston
Historic Mission Control is decorated with emblems of past missions such as this one in remembrance of Apollo 1. The Apollo 1 crew, Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee, died in a cabin fire during a launch rehearsal test in 1967.
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Space Center Houston
A flown mission patch presented to the workers of Mission Control is featured in Historic Mission Control.
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