Christopher C. Kraft, Jr. is a retired NASA engineer and manager.
After graduating from Virginia Tech in 1944, Kraft was hired by the
National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, the predecessor
organization to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. He
worked for over a decade in aeronautical research before being asked
in 1958 to join the Space Task Group, a small team entrusted with the
responsibility of putting America's first man in space. Assigned to
the flight operations division, Kraft became NASA's first flight
director. He was on duty during such historic missions as America's
first spaceflight, first orbital flight and first spacewalk. At the
beginning of the Apollo program Kraft retired as a flight director in
order to concentrate on management and mission planning. In 1972 he
became director of the Manned Spacecraft Center (later Johnson Space
Center), following in the footsteps of his mentor Robert Gilruth. He
held the position until his retirement from NASA in 1982. More than
any other man, Kraft was responsible for shaping the organization and
culture of NASA's Mission Control. As his protégé Glynn Lunney
commented, "the Control Center today ... is a reflection of Chris
Read the rest of this article:
Today's selected anniversaries:
Forces under Timur defeated the Ottomans in the Battle of Ankara and
captured Sultan Bayezid I.
Third Italian War of Independence: The Austrian Navy led by Wilhelm
von Tegetthoff defeated a much larger Italian fleet in the Battle of
Billboard magazine published its first "Music Popularity Chart".
Adolf Hitler survived an assassination attempt by German Resistance
member Claus von Stauffenberg, who hid a bomb inside a briefcase
during a conference at the Wolfsschanze military headquarters in East
The Apollo 11 lunar module landed on the Sea of Tranquillity, where
Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin would become the first men to walk on
the moon six and a half hours later.
Wiktionary's Word of the day:
surfeit: An excessive amount of something.
Wikiquote of the day:
People do not decide to become extraordinary. They decide to
accomplish extraordinary things. -- Sir Edmund Hillary