HUTCHINSON, Kan. — The first set of historic consoles used by NASA flight controllers to manage the first missions to land astronauts on the moon left the Cosmosphere SpaceWorks facility in Hutchinson on Wednesday. The panels were loaded up in a NASA Super Guppy aircraft and flown out of Wichita.
According to the Cosmosphere, the panels arrived in Houston and a second set of panels are being loaded onto trucks and should arrive at SpaceWorks sometime next week.
When completed, the $5 million restoration will return Mission Operations Control Room-2 inside the Mission Control Center to how it looked at the time of Apollo 11, the first mission to land humans on the moon.
Space Center Houston, the visitor center for Johnson Space Center, together with NASA, Texas Historical Commission and the National Park Service are overseeing the project, with the goal of having it ready in time for the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing next year. The Park Service gave its approval for the restoration in 2017 given the room’s status as a National Historic Landmark since 1985.
The consoles were first used for NASA’s Gemini 4 mission in 1965 and retired after STS-53, the 52nd space shuttle mission in December 1992.