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Tell the world about restoring NASA’s Historic Mission Control

Historic and current high-resolution photos of Historic Mission Control are available for editorial use by journalists in our digital assets.

Operation Restoration has commenced. Space Center Houston is on a mission to restore NASA’s Historic Mission Control. Time has taken its toll and this national historic landmark is in acute need of restoration. In preparation of the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing, Space Center Houston is launching a Kickstarter campaign July 20 to raise funds to help support a major restoration of the room.

The nonprofit’s Kickstarter campaign, the Webster Challenge: Restore Historic Mission Control, seeks $250,000 to help fund the extensive work needed to restore the living legacy of Mission Control for future generations.

The center invites people around the world to share the story about Historic Mission Control where the flight control team planned, trained and executed decades of Gemini, Apollo and early shuttle human spaceflight missions.

People can donate to the Webster Challenge beginning July 20, which is the 48th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

Space Center Houston welcomes the media to work with us on a story about the Webster Challenge: Restore Historic Mission Control.

To assist journalists in developing stories, we’ve created several media resources for editorial use including story ideas, videos, photos and fact sheets, policies and the latest news release.

If you’d like to work with Space Center Houston on a news story about the Webster Challenge: Restore Historic Mission Control, please complete the Media Inquiry Form and send it to communications@spacecenter.org.

Thank you for sharing the importance of restoring this historic landmark with your readers and viewers.

Story Ideas

A National Treasure

Whether your beat is history, antiques or culture, the restoration of Historic Mission Control has you covered. Dive deep into the rich culture this National Historic Landmark holds and explore the history of the room that achieved the impossible.

  • Tie your story to a major NASA anniversary. The Webster Challenge: Restore Historic Mission Control begins July 20, the 48th anniversary of the first lunar landing. The restoration is set to be completed and opened July 20, 2019, the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing. Historic Mission Control is the Mission Operations Control Room, also known as MOCR 2, located in Building 30 at NASA Johnson Space Center.
  • This room was the center of all communications between Earth and our spaceflight missions. From Historic Mission Control, NASA monitored nine Gemini and all Apollo lunar missions, including the first and last historic moon landings of Apollo 11 and Apollo 17.
  • It was last used by the Space Shuttle Program in 1992 as the flight control room for STS-53.
  • From this room, the NASA Johnson Space Center team exercised full mission control from liftoff to splashdown of the Apollo 11 mission.
  • This important site was named in 1985 to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
  • The restoration is underway now to bring the treasured room back to life.
  • The restoration project will focus on all five areas of Historic Mission Control, with the goal of accurately portraying how the area looked the moment the moon landing took place on July 20, 1969.

Possible interview opportunities:

  • A Space Center Houston exhibit curator and space historian on the restoration of Historic Mission Control and how the nonprofit is sharing the living legacy of the room with our guests.
  • Hear remarkable stories from the retired NASA flight controllers and retired astronauts who made the impossible happen.
  • Spanish-speaking interview subjects available.
  • A NASA historian.

A Non-Profit on a Mission

Record the details of the historic fundraising effort of Space Center Houston – The Webster Challenge: Restore Historic Mission Control. Feature our crowdfunding mission to raise $250,000 to support the restoration of Historic Mission Control.
The Webster Challenge is a global effort inviting people to participate in the 30-day Kickstarter to raise $250,000. Space Center Houston will match donations dollar-for-dollar up to a maximum amount thanks to a generous lead gift from a longtime supporter, the city of Webster, Texas.

This spring, the city of Webster gave a 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.

  • The City of Webster’s $3.5 million donation is the largest philanthropic gift in the history of Space Center Houston.
  • Space Center Houston is helping to keep the Apollo era alive for future generations and inspire people of all ages through the wonders of space exploration.
  • The city of Webster is near the NASA Johnson Space Center campus and Space Center Houston.
  • Since Webster was incorporated in 1958, NASA has served as a catalyst to grow the city and the region.

Possible interview opportunities:

  • Center educator speaking about how we are engaging students and teachers from around the world in STEM learning.
  • Hear our CEO speak about the importance of raising funding to restore the Historic Apollo Mission Control.
  • Spanish-speaking interview subjects available.

STEM in Action

The Kickstarter Webster Challenge engages the world to support science learning for future generations. Share with your readers how Space Center Houston teaches students and educators to explore the past, the present and the future of America’s space program. Students train in educational programs to think critically, just as the NASA team did in Historic Mission Control.

  • Space Center Houston is a premiere educational center that draws more than 200,000 youth from around the world to visit the center annually to experience our educational space museum with more than 400 things to see and experience.
  • We emphasize national standards of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in a fun and engaging way.
  • We use space exploration to inspire wonder and interest in STEM.
  • Students visit Historic Mission Control to learn about the achievements, discoveries and history that happened because of the work done in Historic Mission Control.
  • We teach students about the many career opportunities in STEM. You don’t have to be an astronaut to be a part of the space program. STEM careers include scientists, doctors, nutritionists, psychologists, engineers and more.
  • Middle school students could be among the first humans to walk on Mars.

Possible interview opportunities:

  • Center educator speaking about how we are engaging students and teachers from around the world in STEM learning.
  • Hear our CEO speak about the importance of raising funding to restore the Historic Apollo Mission Control.
  • Interview guests of all ages from around the world – more than 80 percent of our guests come from outside Houston and more than a third are from other countries.

Relive the Apollo era

Give your readers an up-close look at the legacy of the Apollo program within Space Center Houston’s museum collection. See the Apollo 17 command module, the last manned mission to the moon, touch a moon rock and visit Historic Mission Control. Discover The Real Thing.

Space Center Houston’s Apollo era exhibits and artifacts include:

  • The actual presidential podium used during President John F. Kennedy’s speech, “We Choose to go to the Moon,” given at Houston’s Rice University in 1962.
  • A spacesuit collection featuring Commander Pete Conrad’s spacesuit worn during his Apollo 12 lunar walk, the third moonwalk completed by an American.
  • Apollo era flight director Gene Kranz’ memorable red, white and silver sequined vest worn while directing Apollo 17, the last mission to land on the moon.
  • The Lunar Roving Vehicle Trainer that astronauts used to prepare for missions to the moon. The vehicle, which has no steering wheel or brakes, was used for Apollo 15-17 missions.
  • The cramped quarters of the flown Apollo 17 command module, which was used during the last mission to the moon.
  • The Apollo 13 lithium hydroxide canister device, which was fashioned together by the astronauts with the help of the men in Mission Control. Made up of a flight manual cover, socks and duct tape, the device filtered the dangerous levels of carbon dioxide in the lunar module.
  • The Lunar Vault, kept in a pure nitrogen environment, which holds the largest collection of rocks, core samples, sand and dust on public display.
  • An actual moon rock you can touch – one of only eight touchstones in the world.
  • The Lunar Module LTA-8, which helped with the development of the first Lunar Module flown in space during Apollo 9.
  • Space Center Houston takes visitors to Historic Mission Control at Johnson Space Center aboard the NASA Tram Tour.

Space Technology in Your Life

NASA technologies are more prevalent in your life than you think. Explore the hundreds of space spinoffs that resulted because of the innovation at NASA.

  • The trials and triumphs that took place within NASA’s Historic Mission Control paved the way for developments in commercial products and services.
  • Called spinoffs, these developments have made a great impact in life on Earth. Spinoffs include memory foam, water filters, artificial limbs, handheld power tools and breast cancer detection technologies. For more NASA spinoffs, visit https://spinoff.nasa.gov/.

Possible interview opportunities:

  • A Space Center Houston exhibit curator and space historian on the restoration of Historic Mission Control and how the nonprofit is sharing the living legacy of the room with our guests.
  • Spanish-speaking interview subjects available.