News Release

Houston … Mission Is a ‘Go’

Space Center Houston’s Crowdfunder Rockets Past Goal

Gene Kranz Mission Control Apollo 11 Mission Control 2Current state of Historic Mission ControlDownload cutlines

HOUSTON, Aug. 22, 2017 – Generous people around the world supported Space Center Houston’s mission to help restore NASA’s Historic Mission Control. The nonprofit’s first-ever crowdfunding campaign, “Webster Challenge: Restore Historic Mission Control,” more than doubled its initial Kickstarter goal and rocketed past the city of Webster matching funds to raise nearly $507,000.

In total, $5 million is needed to restore and sustain this iconic area and, thanks to this successful campaign, Space Center Houston has raised more than $4 million toward that goal.

“Thousands of people from around the world accepted the Webster Challenge to restore this treasured landmark for future generations,” said William T. Harris, president and CEO of the Manned Space Flight Education Foundation and Space Center Houston. “Thanks to the city of Webster and the phenomenal worldwide support, the mission is a ‘go’ to restore Historic Mission Control.”

The challenge drew more than 4,000 pledges from 15 countries including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Germany in the 30-day Kickstarter campaign. The city of Webster, a longtime supporter of the center, is matching gifts on Kickstarter dollar-for-dollar up to $400,000 maximum. The city also gave the lead gift of $3.1 million. Additional gifts poured in daily in Space Center Houston’s mail as people learned of the Kickstarter campaign.

Often called a “cathedral of engineering,” this site hosted people who did the impossible: planned, trained and executed human spaceflight missions to land men safely on the moon. Since it was last used, time has taken its toll and the room acutely needs restoration.

The restoration work, led by NASA Johnson Space Center, will restore flight control consoles and reactivate wall displays with projections to recreate Apollo-era use of the screens. It will focus on all five areas of Mission Control to accurately portray how the area looked the moment the first moon landing occurred on July 20, 1969. These areas are the Historic Mission Operations Control Room, the summary display projection room (known as the “bat cave”), the Simulation Control Room, the Recovery Operations Control Room (used to coordinate support following splashdown) and the Visitors Viewing Area (family and VIP observation).

Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1985, the room celebrates human space exploration and inspires people from around the world who visit. Space Center Houston, the city of Webster and Johnson Space Center are working together to restore the room that made what seemed an inconceivable dream become a reality.

You still can be a part of the restoration of NASA’s Historic Mission Control. Donate to the Webster Challenge campaign by visiting spacecenter.org/restore. #RaiseForSpace

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The Manned Space Flight Education Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit science and space learning center with extensive educational programs. Space Center Houston is the cornerstone of its mission to inspire all generations through the wonders of space exploration. The center draws more than 1 million visitors annually, was called “The Big Draw” by USA Today and generates a $73 million annual economic impact in the greater Houston area. Space Center Houston is a Smithsonian Affiliate and the Official Visitor Center of NASA Johnson Space Center. More than 200,000 teachers and students from around the world visit the center annually to experience our educational space museum with more than 400 things to see and experience. For more information, go to www.spacecenter.org.

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