HAPPY BIRTHDAY GENE KRANZ – A HERO IN SPACEFLIGHT HISTORY.
Photo By: NASA Photographer (5 videos & some quotes below).
HAPPY BIRTHDAY (August 17, 1933) to a true hero of the Space Race and the space program in general: Gene Kranz. Chosen by his predecessor and founding Flight Director Kristopher Columbus Kraft, Gene was NASA Houston Mission Control Flight Director through Project Gemini to the completion of Apollo 17. He stayed with NASA and retired after the successful completion of STS-61, the mission to repair Hubble in 1993.
From Project Mercury, Project Gemini, the Apollo 1 disaster, the near disaster of Apollo 13 and the wild successes of the Moon landings Gene Kranz was a pillar of confidence, toughness and motivation during one of the most volatile times the Unites States and world has ever faced. Many of his quotes (real and fiction) resonate in motivational posters, books movies and speeches today. The never say die, refusal to fail attitude is something I personally live my life by to this day, though, I fall woefully short of his steadfastness in the face of repeated, almost certain failure. Not to mention nobody could sport a vest like he could as his wife made one for him before every mission.
For his service he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and in 2010 in a National Space Foundation (NSF) survey Mr. Kranz was ranked as the number 2 all-time space hero…..it’s hard to disagree with that notion.
“From this day forward, Flight Control will be known by two words: Tough and Competent.” – Jan 30, 1967 Gene Kranz addressing his team after the Apollo 1 fire.
“We’ve never lost an American in space and were sure as hell not going to loose one NOW. This crew is coming home; you gotta believe it, your team must believe it and WE must make it happen.” – Gene Kranz during Apollo 13. This quote was shortened and “Failure is not an option” (a motto coined by a member of the Mission Control team that was often used) was inserted into the Apollo 13 movie though it was never said by Kranz in the fashion it was portrayed in the movie.
“You cannot operate in this room unless you believe you are Superman, and whatever happens, you’re capable of solving the problem.” – Gene Kranz.
After hearing the NASA Director say “This could be the worst disaster NASA has ever experienced.” Gene Kranz replied with “With all due respect, Sir; I believe this is gonna be our finest hour.”
Gene Kranz speech for test facility employees: <a href=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SN5TQujEgkAGene
Kranz interview about Apollo 13: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kL5MsSQzWnE
Gene Kranz interview about Apollo 13 MSNBC Special:
Gene Kranz Speech:
Gene Kranz interview: