NASA pioneer honored; says he regrets shuttle end

AP News
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Posted: Apr 14, 2011 2:07 PM
NASA pioneer honored; says he regrets shuttle end

NASA's first flight director says he regrets that the shuttle program is coming to an end because he believes it's the finest spacecraft ever built.

Christopher C. Kraft said after a Johnson Space Center ceremony honoring him Thursday that he thinks space shuttles could be used for another 30 years and could take us to the moon or even Mars.

The Houston space center unveiled its new name for Mission Control: the Christopher C. Kraft Jr. Mission Control Center.

The 87-year-old Kraft was NASA's first flight director for human spaceflight and helped create Mission Control. He also directed the Mercury and Gemini flights and helped put men on the moon during the Apollo program. He went on to serve as director of Johnson Space Center from 1972 to 1982.