Chris Kraft


There are thousands of photographs in the LIFE Magazine archives that are dedicated to a single space mission, Freedom 7, which launched the first American into space. A handful of these photos, which were taken in Mercury Mission Control a few days before the flight, consist of Ralph Morse selfies.

You have to give Morse credit for sneaking flight director Chris Kraft into his selfies and getting away with it.


Happy birthday to Chris Kraft (2/28/1924).  One of the key figures in the early manned space program.  I highly recommend reading his book.  One takeaway is that setting up mission control was a feat in of itself.
Twitter: @thomasguettler

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(15 April 1970) — Prototype of the “mail box” constructed at the Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC) to remove carbon dioxide from the Apollo 13 Command Module (CM) is displayed in the Mission Control Center (MCC). The “mail box” was constructed when it became apparent CO2 was prevalent in the CM and the spacecraft’s lithium hydroxide system was not removing it sufficiently. A space suit exhaust hose is connected to a lithium hydroxide canister to purge the cabin air. There are 16 such canisters in the CM and each will last approximately 12 hours. Looking at the “mail box” are (from the left): Milton L. Windler, shift 1 flight director; Dr. Donald K. (Deke) Slayton, director of flight crew operations, MSC; Howard W. Tindall, deputy director, flight operations, MSC; Sigurd A. Sjoberg, director, flight operations, MSC; Dr. Christopher C. Kraft, deputy director, MSC; and Dr. Robert R. Gilruth, director, MSC.

What I like to think really happened at the Group 8 Introduction at JSC, January 1978:

Chris Kraft: “Please welcome The Fuc-”

NASA PAO: “Ahem”

Chris Kraft: “Oops kids are watching, anyway please welcome the Thirty-Five New Guys!”

TFNGs in the back snicker.

Also, check out the late 70s fashions and haircuts on these guys.