Press Release

NASA, Mission Control Veterans Dedicate Benches of Honor

By SpaceRef Editor
April 26, 2022
Filed under ,

NASA and members of the Manned Spaceflight Operations Association (MSOA) will dedicate a trio of benches Thursday, April 28, honoring spaceflight control teams of the past in a ceremony featuring NASA Johnson Space Center Director Vanessa Wyche.

To provide a lasting memorial, the granite benches were privately funded by 98 of the non-profit organization’s members and installed outside the Christopher C. Kraft Jr. Mission Control Center in Houston.,

The dedication will be at 2 p.m. Thursday outside Mission Control near the National Historic Landmark established in 1985 for its role in the Apollo 11 lunar landing.

Media wishing to participate must contact the Johnson newsroom at 281-483-5111 or no later than 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 27. The event is available only for reporters who participate in person.

Participants will include:

  • Vanessa Wyche, NASA Johnson director
  • Gerry Griffin, former NASA Johnson director

“We would like to formally dedicate these monuments to preserve the history and perpetuate the memory of the men and women who planned, trained, and operationally supported past spaceflights from Mission Control, Houston,” said Bill Reeves, former NASA flight director and president of the Manned Spaceflight Operations Association.

“We’re thankful to the Manned Spaceflight Operations Association for dedicating these benches in honor of our NASA flight control teams who captured the world’s attention and demonstrated the power of America’s vision and technology through many historic missions spanning Gemini to Shuttle,” said Wyche. “These benches will serve as a constant reminder of this lasting legacy, as we work to inspire the next generation of explorers with our Artemis Moon to Mars program.”

The monuments are a tribute to all flight control teams of the Gemini, Apollo, Skylab, and Space Shuttle Programs, as well as the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. The International Space Station is not yet included because it is still an operational program.

A limited amount of time will be available for media interviews, and there will be an opportunity to visit the Apollo Mission Control Center that has been restored to appear as it did in the era of the Apollo 11 Moon landing.

NASA’s Johnson Space Center is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. On May 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy committed the nation to achieve the goal of “landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth” before the end of the decade. NASA’s Space Task Group, in charge of America’s human spaceflight program, was already working on Project Mercury to put astronauts into Earth orbit, but with the additional task of a human lunar landing, it soon outgrew its facilities at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. The agency decided it needed a dedicated field center for human spaceflight, and on Sept. 19, 1961, after evaluating multiple sites around the country, NASA announced that the new Manned Spacecraft Center would be built near Houston, Texas. The center was renamed for Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1973.

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Learn. more about the Manned Spaceflight Operations Association and the work histories of its members at:

SpaceRef staff editor.