• A console removed from one of the original Mission Control rooms in Houston is currently on display at the Cosmosphere, as photographed on Friday, April 21, 2017. The Cosmosphere has been selected for participation in the renovation of the Mission Operations Control Room exhibit at Johnson Space Center.

  • S71-41357 (26 July 1971) - An overall, wide-angle-lens view of activity in the Mission Operations Control Room in the Mission Control Center minutes after the launch of the Apollo 15 lunar landing mission. Ground elapsed time was 45 minutes and 42 seconds when this photograph was taken.

  • A console removed from one of the original Mission Control rooms in Houston is currently on display at the Cosmosphere, as photographed on Friday, April 21, 2017. The Cosmosphere has been selected for participation in the renovation of the Mission Operations Control Room exhibit at Johnson Space Center.

  • Jim Remar, Cosmosphere president and chief operating officer, is photographed on Friday, April 21, 2017, with a console removed from one of the original Mission Control rooms in Houston currently displayed at the Cosmosphere. The Cosmosphere has been selected for participation in the renovation of the Mission Operations Control Room exhibit at Johnson Space Center.

  • Jim Remar, Cosmosphere president and chief operating officer, is photographed on Friday, April 21, 2017, with a console removed from one of the original Mission Control rooms in Houston currently displayed at the Cosmosphere. The Cosmosphere has been selected for participation in the renovation of the Mission Operations Control Room exhibit at Johnson Space Center.

  • A photo included with the Cosmosphere's Mission Control display is an image taken of Mission Control during the Apollo 15 flight. The Cosmosphere has been selected for participation in the renovation of the Mission Operations Control Room exhibit at Johnson Space Center.

  • S71-41759 (2 Aug. 1971) - A partial view of activity in the Mission Operations Control Room in the Mission Control Center during the liftoff of the Apollo 15 Lunar Module "Falcon" ascent stage from the lunar surface. An RCA color television camera mounted on the Lunar Roving Vehicle made it possible for people on Earth to watch the LM's spectacular launch from the moon. The LM liftoff was at 171:37 ground elapsed time. The LRV was parked about 300 feet east of the LM. The TV camera was remotely controlled from a console in the MOCR. Seated in the right foreground is astronaut Edgar D. Mitchell, a spacecraft communicator. Mitchell was lunar module pilot of the Apollo 14 lunar landing mission. Note liftoff on the television monitor in the center background.

SpaceWorks eyes a stellar task: Mission Control restoration project will involve Cosmosphere

Friday, April 21, 2017

The Kansas Cosmosphere's restoration team will begin a new project in late May restoring the consoles and monitors in the Historic Mission Control at Johnson Space Center, Houston.

The Cosmosphere was selected to help with the mission, which is expected to be completed by 2019, when the world celebrates the 50th anniversary of the first steps of man on the moon, said Mimi Meredith, vice president of development and marketing at the Cosmosphere.

"Johnson Space Center hopes to offer visitors a glimpse of what Mission Control looked like in that era," Meredith said.

Today, visitors to Space Center Houston can visit Historic Mission Control and see exhibits about how history played out in the room. Known more formally as the Mission Operations Control Room, it was from MOCR that NASA monitored nine Gemini and all Apollo lunar missions.

"While the control consoles and monitors in the room are authentic, none of them work," said Jim Remar, Cosmosphere president and chief operating officer. "JSC turned to the Cosmosphere fabrication, restoration and high-fidelity replica division to help them bring MOCR back to life."

The Cosmosphere primarily will be involved in restoring the original mission control consoles to the condition in which they would have operated during the Apollo 15 mission.

The individual components in each console will be shipped to SpaceWorks, where the restoration team, including Dale Capps, Don Aich, Jack Graber and Jim Franko, will get them into working order.

"We will reanimate the consoles so buttons light up and the screens will show data and telemetry," Remar said. "We have the ability to restore the physical appearance and the actual computer content of the control consoles to reflect the Apollo 15 mission."

The Cosmosphere will be working in conjunction with NASA, Space Center Houston, the Texas Historical Commission, former members of Mission Control including Gene Kranz, Gerry Griffin and Glynn Lunney, and Stern and Bucek Architects to create a sense of Historic Mission Control as it was in the Apollo era down to the smallest detail.

"There will be an enormous amount of research on the front side of the project," Remar said.

Much of that will involve numerous trips to the Johnson Space Center, plus a lot of research at the Cosmosphere and on the internet.

Collections manager Shannon Whetzel and Remar plan to sit down at the console with flight controllers doing oral histories at JSC. Remar said they will ask Gene Kranz, Gerry Griffin, Glynn Lunney and others how they operated the console, what their jobs were and what was happening at the time.

The Mission Control teams from the Apollo era who are involved in the restoration effort consider the Apollo 15 mission to be the apex of the technology of the Apollo era, Remar said.

"For the Cosmosphere to be involved with this historic project is incredibly exciting," Remar said. "It's such a historic restoration."

The Cosmopshere was first contacted by Johnson Space Center regarding the project.

"Then we submitted a proposal," Remar said. "We have a console from Mission Control as part of the museum's collection."

They are hoping to complete their portion of the restoration by late October or November.