News Release

Space Center Houston Launches Kickstarter to Restore NASA’s Historic Mission Control

‘Webster Challenge’ Will Help Keep Apollo Era Alive for Future Generations

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HOUSTON, July 20, 2017 – Help restore Historic Mission Control. The nonprofit Space Center Houston today launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign named “The Webster Challenge: Restore Historic Mission Control” to keep the history of the Apollo era alive and restore the treasured landmark for future generations. Today is the 48th anniversary of the first landing of man on the moon, which was controlled from the historic room.

“You can help restore Mission Control and preserve this National Historic Landmark, which changed the course of human history,” said William T. Harris, president and CEO of the Manned Space Flight Education Foundation and Space Center Houston. “Help us keep history alive for future generations and inspire people of all ages through the wonders of space exploration.”

NASA Johnson Space Center’s historic Mission Operations Control Room, used during the Gemini, Apollo and Shuttle eras, is in acute need of restoration. The work will restore flight control consoles and reactivate wall displays with projections to recreate Apollo-era use of the screens. When completed, the room will display an accurate look of the iconic room based on the Apollo era.

Located on the third floor of Building 30 on the JSC campus, five distinct, interrelated areas comprise Historic Mission Control. The restoration will focus on all five areas with the goal of accurately portraying how the area looked the moment the moon landing took place on July 20, 1969. Those rooms are the Historic Mission Operations Control Room (housed flight controllers), the summary display projection room (known as the “bat cave”), the Simulation Control Room, the Recovery Control Room (used to coordinate support following splashdown) and the Visitors Viewing Area (family and VIP observation).

The restoration of the National Historic Landmark will be coordinated by NASA Johnson Space Center with funds raised by the nonprofit Manned Space Flight Education Foundation, which owns and operates Space Center Houston, the official JSC visitor center. More than 1 million visitors from around the world annually visit Space Center Houston and most visit Historic Mission Control as part of a guided tour.

The Webster Challenge is a global effort inviting people to participate in the 30-day Kickstarter to raise $250,000. The city of Webster, a longtime supporter of the center, will match gifts dollar-for-dollar up to a maximum amount. This spring, the city gave the lead gift of $3.5 million toward the $5 million restoration campaign goal. The Kickstarter campaign is part of the center’s efforts to raise the remaining $1.5 million.

NASA began celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo era earlier this year and it culminates in 2019 with the anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing. The first moon landing by Apollo 11 is still considered one of the great achievements of humanity.

The accomplishments of the Apollo era inspired people and innovators to chase impossible dreams. The human space program harnessed incredible ingenuity that put men on the moon and gave birth to technologies in use today. A few benefits from this era include memory foam, water filters, artificial limbs, handheld power tools and breast-cancer detection technologies.

The city of Webster has been a supporter of Space Center Houston for more than 17 years. Incorporated in 1958, NASA has served as a catalyst to grow the city of Webster and the region. Webster is home to more than 2,200 business – many of which are aerospace companies working on NASA’s current deep space missions and the daily operations for the International Space Station. The city’s global importance to space exploration will continue through their generous gift, as well as your contribution.

You can be a part of the restoration of NASA’s Historic Mission Control. Accept the Webster Challenge and donate at websterchallenge.com.

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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 youth 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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