Apollo 11 space landing: An iconic piece of history preserved in time

It played a crucial part of the historic moon landing and now Houston Mission Control is going to be permanently preserved and put on display for the public.
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing, Space Centre Houston has restored the Mission Control Room Two to be exactly as it was on that iconic day in July 1969.
The ashtrays are the same, as are the telephones and the fabric weaves.


The final result even brought a former NASA engineer to tears when he went back today.
'I didn't think I was going to be that emotional but when I walked in there today it brought a lot of emotions back,' engineer Bill Moon (yes that is his real name), told 9News.
'I actually teared up.
'This is where all those men that you see in the video were during the approach and landing, making sure the spacecraft was actually going to be able to stay on the moon and then witnessing those first steps as well.
'There was a sense of pride, exuberance, but we didn't stop there because you didn't have a successful mission until you got the crew home.'
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The room, which opened in 1965 and oversaw 18 Apollo and Gemini missions to space, has been declared a National Historic Landmark, although it hasn't always been so well looked after.
Once the Apollo program finished, Mission Control Two fell into a state of disrepair.
Access was not closely regulated, allowing items to be taken as souvenirs while some staff even used it as a lunch room to escape the Texas heat.


'It's like a museum when you come in and actually get to see the place where all this work actually occurred and all the people that were here during that time, is a testimony to that great team work,' Tracy Lamm, Chief Operating Officer at Space Centre Houston said.
He said the preservation of Mission Control is a valuable project for both the young and old.
'It's great for people to relive what they saw many years ago but also great for people to see it for the first time and see it in this environment where they really get to understand that situation and how close they actually were to calling off the landing,' Mr Lamm said.

There is one significant change that those who formerly worked in Mission Control have noticed. Gone is the smell of tobacco and coffee.
Lighting a cigar was a traditional celebration of a successful mission, but Bill Moon said the parties never lasted long.
'The crew could do the tickertapes and visit the cities, but the flight controllers had to focus on the next flight,' Mr Moon said.
'We smoked the cigars, waved the flags and drank a few beers, but then we had to get back to work because Apollo 12 was coming right down the pike.'
© Nine Digital Pty Ltd 2019
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