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The Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center (JSC) is
NASA The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA; ) is an independent agency A regulatory agency or regulatory authority, is a Public benefit corporation Public-benefit corporation is a term that has different meanings in differen ...

NASA
's center for
human spaceflight Human spaceflight (also referred to as manned spaceflight or crewed spaceflight) is spaceflight Spaceflight (or space flight) is an application of astronautics to fly spacecraft into or through outer space, either human spaceflight, with o ...

human spaceflight
(originally named the Manned Spacecraft Center), where human spaceflight training, research, and
flight control A conventional Fixed-wing aircraft, fixed-wing aircraft flight control system consists of flight control surfaces, the respective cockpit controls, connecting linkages, and the necessary operating mechanisms to control an aircraft's direction i ...
are conducted. It was built and
lease A lease is a contractual arrangement calling for the user (referred to as the ''lessee'') to pay the owner (the Lessor (leasing), ''lessor'') for use of an asset. Property, buildings and vehicles are common assets that are leased. Industrial o ...

lease
d to NASA by Joseph L. Smith & Associates, Inc."Space" is our product
// ''Aviation Week & Space Technology'', June 17, 1963, v. 78, no. 24, p. 127.
It was renamed in honor of the late US president and Texas native,
Lyndon B. Johnson Lyndon Baines Johnson (; August 27, 1908January 22, 1973), often referred to by his initials LBJ, was the 36th president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of government of the ...

Lyndon B. Johnson
, by an act of the
United States Senate The United States Senate is the upper chamber of the United States Congress The United States Congress is the legislature A legislature is an deliberative assembly, assembly with the authority to make laws for a Polity, politi ...
on February 19, 1973. It consists of a complex of 100 buildings constructed on in the
Clear Lake Area Clear Lake, or the Clear Lake Area, is a region in parts of Harris Harris may refer to: Places Canada * Harris, Ontario * Northland Pyrite Mine (also known as Harris Mine) * Harris, Saskatchewan * Rural Municipality of Harris No. 316, Saskatchewa ...
of
Houston Houston ( ) is the List of cities in Texas by population, most populous city in Texas, List of United States cities by population, fourth-most populous city in the United States, most populous city in the Southern United States, as well as th ...

Houston
, which acquired the official
nickname A nickname (also moniker) is a substitute for the proper name of a familiar person, place or thing. Commonly used to express affection, a form of endearment, and sometimes amusement, it can also be used to express defamation of character De ...
"Space City" in 1967. The center is home to NASA's astronaut corps, and is responsible for training astronauts from both the US and its international partners. It houses the Christopher C. Kraft Jr. Mission Control Center, which has provided the
flight control A conventional Fixed-wing aircraft, fixed-wing aircraft flight control system consists of flight control surfaces, the respective cockpit controls, connecting linkages, and the necessary operating mechanisms to control an aircraft's direction i ...
function for every NASA human spaceflight since
Gemini 4 Gemini 4 (officially Gemini IV) With Gemini IV, NASA changed to Roman numerals for Gemini mission designations. was the second crewed spaceflight Human spaceflight (also referred to as manned spaceflight or crewed spaceflight) is spaceflig ...
(including
Apollo Apollo, grc, Ἀπόλλωνος, ''Apóllōnos'', label=genitive , ; , grc-dor, Ἀπέλλων, ''Apéllōn'', ; grc, Ἀπείλων, ''Apeílōn'', label=Arcadocypriot Greek, ; grc-aeo, Ἄπλουν, ''Áploun'', la, Apollō, ...

Apollo
,
Skylab Skylab was the first United States space station A space station, also known as an orbital station or an orbital space station, is a spacecraft File:Space Shuttle Columbia launching.jpg, 275px, The US Space Shuttle flew 135 times from ...

Skylab
,
Apollo–Soyuz Apollo–Soyuz was the first crewed international Space exploration, space mission, carried out jointly by the United States and the Soviet Union in July 1975. Millions of people around the world watched on television as a United States Apollo ...
, and
Space Shuttle The Space Shuttle is a retired, partially reusable low Earth orbit A low Earth orbit (LEO) is an Earth-centered orbit near the planet, often specified as having a period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * ...
). It is popularly known by its radio call signs "Mission Control" and "Houston". The original Manned Spacecraft Center grew out of the
Space Task Group The Space Task Group was a working group of NASA The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA; ) is an independent agencies of the United States government, independent agency of the Federal government of the United States, U.S. ...
(STG) headed by Robert R. Gilruth that was formed to coordinate the US crewed spaceflight program. The STG was based at the
Langley Research Center The Langley Research Center (LaRC or NASA Langley), located in Hampton Hampton may refer to: Places Australia *Hampton (biogeographic region), an IBRA biogeographic region in Western Australia *Hampton, New South Wales *Hampton, Queensland *H ...

Langley Research Center
in
Hampton, Virginia Hampton () is an independent city (United States), independent city in the Commonwealth (U.S. state), Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, 2010 census, the population was 137,438; in 2019, it wa ...
, but reported organizationally to the
Goddard Space Flight Center The Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) is a major NASA The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA; ) is an independent agency A regulatory agency or regulatory authority, is a Public benefit corporation Public-benefit cor ...
just outside Washington, D.C. To meet the growing needs of the US human spaceflight program, plans began in 1961 to expand its staff to its own organization, and move it to a new facility. This was constructed in 1962 and 1963 on land donated by the
Humble Oil Humble Oil and Refining Co. was an American List of oil exploration and production companies, oil company founded in 1911 in Humble, Texas. In 1919, a 50% interest in Humble was acquired by Standard Oil of New Jersey which acquired the rest of the ...
company through
Rice University William Marsh Rice University (Rice University) is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, af ...

Rice University
, and officially opened its doors in September 1963. Today, JSC is one of ten major NASA field centers.


History

Johnson Space Center has its origins in
NASA The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA; ) is an independent agency A regulatory agency or regulatory authority, is a Public benefit corporation Public-benefit corporation is a term that has different meanings in differen ...

NASA
's
Space Task Group The Space Task Group was a working group of NASA The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA; ) is an independent agencies of the United States government, independent agency of the Federal government of the United States, U.S. ...
(STG). Starting on November 5, 1958, Langley Research Center engineers under Robert R. Gilruth directed
Project Mercury Project Mercury was the first human spaceflight Human spaceflight (also referred to as manned spaceflight or crewed spaceflight) is spaceflight with a crew or passengers aboard a spacecraft, the spacecraft being operated directly by the ...
and follow-on crewed space programs. The STG originally reported to the
Goddard Space Flight Center The Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) is a major NASA The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA; ) is an independent agency A regulatory agency or regulatory authority, is a Public benefit corporation Public-benefit cor ...
organization, with a total staff of 45, including 37 engineers, and eight secretaries and human "computers" (women who ran calculations on mechanical adding machines). In 1959, the center added 32 Canadian engineers put out of work by the cancellation of the
Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow The Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow was a delta-winged interceptor aircraft An interceptor aircraft, or simply interceptor, is a type of fighter aircraft Fighter aircraft are fixed-wing aircraft, fixed-wing military aircraft designed prima ...
project. NASA's first administrator, T. Keith Glennan, realized that the growth of the US space program would cause the STG to outgrow the Langley and Goddard centers and require its own location. On January 1, 1961, he wrote a memo to his yet-unnamed successor (who turned out to be James E. Webb), recommending a new site be chosen. Later that year, when President
John F. Kennedy John Fitzgerald Kennedy (May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963), often referred to by his initials JFK, was an American politician who served as the 35th president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the ...

John F. Kennedy
set the goal to put a person on the
Moon The Moon is Earth's only natural satellite. At about one-quarter the diameter of Earth (comparable to the width of Australia (continent), Australia), it is the largest natural satellite in the Solar System relative to the size of its plane ...

Moon
by the end of the decade, it became clear Gilruth would need a larger organization to lead the
Apollo Program The Apollo program, also known as Project Apollo, was the third United States human spaceflight program carried out by the NASA, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), which succeeded in Moon landing, landing the first humans ...

Apollo Program
, with new test facilities and research laboratories.


Site selection

In 1961, Congress held hearings and passed a $1.7 billion 1962 NASA appropriations bill which included $60 million for the new crewed spaceflight laboratory. A set of requirements for the new site was drawn up and released to the Congress and general public. These included: access to
water transport Maritime transport (or ocean transport) and hydrolyc effluvial transport, or more generally waterborne transport, is the transport of people (passengers) or goods (cargo) via waterways. Freight transport by sea has been widely used througho ...

water transport
by large barges, a moderate climate, availability of all-weather commercial jet service, a well-established industrial complex with supporting technical facilities and labor, close proximity to a culturally attractive community in the vicinity of an institution of higher education, a strong electric utility and water supply, at least of land, and certain specified cost parameters. In August 1961, Webb asked Associate Director of the
Ames Research Center The Ames Research Center (ARC), also known as NASA Ames, is a major NASA The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA; ) is an independent agencies of the United States government, independent agency of the Federal government ...
John F. Parsons to head a site-selection team, which included Philip Miller, Wesley Hjornevik, and I. Edward Campagna, the construction engineer for the STG. The team initially came up with a list of 22 cities based on the climate and water criteria, then cut this to a short list of nine with nearby federal facilities: * Jacksonville, Florida (
Green Cove Springs Green Cove Springs is a city in Clay County, Florida, United States. The population was 5,378 at the 2000 census. As of 2010, the population recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau was 6,908. It is the county seat of Clay County. The city is named aft ...
Naval Air Station A naval air station is a military air base, and consists of a permanent land-based military base, operations locations for the military aviation division of the relevant branch of a navy (Naval aviation). These bases are typically populated by Squa ...
) * Tampa, Florida (
MacDill Air Force Base MacDill Air Force Base (MacDill AFB) is an active United States Air Force installation located 4 miles (6.4 km) south-southwest of downtown Tampa, Florida. The "host wing" for MacDill AFB is the 6th Air Refueling Wing (6 ARW), assig ...
) *
Baton Rouge, Louisiana Baton Rouge ( ; ) is the capital city A capital or capital city is the municipality holding primary status in a Department (country subdivision), department, country, Constituent state, state, province, or other administrative region, usua ...

Baton Rouge, Louisiana
* Shreveport, Louisiana (
Barksdale Air Force Base Barksdale Air Force Base (Barksdale AFB) is a United States Air Force The United States Air Force (USAF) is the air File:Atmosphere gas proportions.svg, Composition of Earth's atmosphere by volume, excluding water vapor. Lower pie re ...
) * Houston, Texas ( San Jacinto Ordnance Depot) * Victoria, Texas ( FAA Airport; former Foster Air Force Base) * Corpus Christi, Texas (
Naval Air Station Corpus Christi Naval Air Station Corpus Christi is a United States Navy ), (unofficial)."''Non sibi sed patriae''" ( en, "Not for self but for country") (unofficial). , colors = Blue and gold  , colors_label = Colors , march = "Anchors Aweigh" , ...
) * San Diego, California (
Camp Elliott Camp Kearny was a U.S. military base (first Army, later Navy) in San Diego County, California San Diego County, officially the County of San Diego, is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or oth ...
) * San Francisco, California (
Benicia Arsenal The Benicia Arsenal (1851–1964) and Benicia Barracks (1852–66) were part of a large military reservation located next to Suisun Bay in Benicia, California. For over 100 years, the arsenal was the primary US Army Ordnance facility for the West ...
) Another 14 sites were then added, including two additional Houston sites chosen because of proximity to the
University of Houston The University of Houston (U of H) is a Public university, public research university in Houston, Texas. Founded in 1927, U of H is the flagship institution of the University of Houston System and the List of universities in Texas by enrollment ...
and
Rice University William Marsh Rice University (Rice University) is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, af ...

Rice University
. The team visited all 23 sites between August 21 and September 7, 1961. During these visits, Massachusetts Governor
John A. Volpe John Anthony Volpe (; December 8, 1908November 11, 1994) was an American businessman, diplomat, and politician from Massachusetts Massachusetts (, ), officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous U.S. state, state in the N ...
and Senator
Margaret Chase Smith Margaret Madeline Chase Smith (December 14, 1897 – May 29, 1995) was an American politician. A member of the Republican Party Republican Party is a name used by many political parties A political party is an organization that coordinates ca ...

Margaret Chase Smith
headed a delegation which exerted particularly strong political pressure, prompting a personal inquiry to Webb from President Kennedy. Senators and Congressmen from sites in Missouri and California similarly lobbied the selection team. Proponents of sites in Boston, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Norfolk, Virginia, went so far as to make separate presentations to Webb and the headquarters staff, so Webb added these additional sites to the final review. Following its tour, the team identified MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa as its first choice, based on the fact the Air Force was planning to close down its Strategic Air Command operations there. The Houston Rice University site was second, and the Benicia Ordnance Depot in San Francisco was third. Before a decision could be made, however, the Air Force decided not to close MacDill, omitting it from consideration and moving the Rice University site to first place. Webb informed President Kennedy on September 14 of the decision made by him and deputy administrator
Hugh Dryden Hugh Latimer Dryden (July 2, 1898 – December 2, 1965) was an American aeronautical scientist A scientist is a person who conducts Scientific method, scientific research to advance knowledge in an Branches of science, area of interest. In cla ...
in two separate memoranda, one reviewing the criteria and procedures, and the other stating: "Our decision is that this laboratory should be located in Houston, Texas, in close association with Rice University and the other educational institutions there and in that region." The Executive Office and NASA made advance notifications of the award, and the public announcement of the location followed on September 19, 1961. According to
Texas A&M University Texas A&M University (Texas A&M, A&M, or TAMU) is a public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an organization An organization, or organi ...
historian Henry C. Dethloff, "Although the Houston site neatly fit the criteria required for the new center, Texas undoubtedly exerted an enormous political influence on such a decision. Lyndon B. Johnson was Vice President and head of the Space Council, headed the House Appropriations Committee, and Olin E. Teague were members of the House Committee on Science and Astronautics, and Teague headed the Subcommittee on Manned Space Flight. Finally,
Sam Rayburn Samuel Taliaferro Rayburn (January 6, 1882 – November 16, 1961) was an American politician who served as the 43rd speaker of the United States House of Representatives. He was a three-time House speaker, former House majority leader, two-time ...

Sam Rayburn
was Speaker of the House of Representatives." The land for the new facility was donated to Rice by the
Humble Oil Humble Oil and Refining Co. was an American List of oil exploration and production companies, oil company founded in 1911 in Humble, Texas. In 1919, a 50% interest in Humble was acquired by Standard Oil of New Jersey which acquired the rest of the ...
company, situated in an undeveloped area southeast of Houston adjacent to Clear Lake near
Galveston Bay Galveston Bay ( ) is a bay in the western Gulf of Mexico The Gulf of Mexico ( es, Golfo de México) is an ocean basin and a marginal sea of the Atlantic Ocean, largely surrounded by the North America North America is a continent e ...

Galveston Bay
. At the time, the land was used to graze cattle. Immediately after Webb's announcement, Gilruth and his staff began planning the move from Langley to Houston, using what would grow to of leased office and laboratory space in 11 scattered sites. On November 1, the conversion of the Task Group to MSC became official.


Construction and early operations

Tracts of land in the vicinity of the Manned Spacecraft Center were either owned or being under exclusive control of Joseph L. Smith & Associates, Inc. NASA purchased an additional so the property would face a highway, and the total included another reserve drilling site. Construction of the center, designed by
Charles Luckman Charles Luckman (May 16, 1909 – January 26, 1999) was an American businessman, property developer, and architect known for designing landmark buildings in the United States such as the Theme Building, Prudential Tower, Madison Square Garden ...
, began in April 1962, and Gilruth's new organization was formed and moved to the temporary locations by September. That month, Kennedy gave a speech at Rice University on the US space program. The speech is famous for highlighting the Apollo program, but Kennedy also made reference to the new Center: The facility was officially opened for business in September 1963.


Mission Control Center

In 1961, as plans for
Project Gemini Project Gemini () was NASA's second human spaceflight program. Conducted between projects Project Mercury, Mercury and Apollo program, Apollo, Gemini started in 1961 and concluded in 1966. The Gemini spacecraft carried a two-astronaut crew. Ten ...
began, it became increasingly clear that the
Mercury Control Center__NOTOC__ The Mercury Control Center (also known as Building 1385 or simply MCC) provided control and coordination of all activities associated with the NASA's Project Mercury Project Mercury was the first human spaceflight program of the Unit ...
located at the
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Cape Canaveral Space Force Station (CCSFS) is an installation of the United States Space Force The United States Space Force (USSF) is the Space force, space service branch of the United States Armed Forces, U.S. Armed Forces, one o ...

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
launch center would become inadequate to control missions with maneuverable spacecraft such as Gemini and Apollo.
Christopher Kraft Christopher Columbus Kraft Jr. (February 28, 1924 – July 22, 2019) was an American aerospace engineer Aerospace engineering is the primary field of engineering Engineering is the use of scientific method, scientific principles ...
and three other
flight controller Flight controllers are personnel who aid space flight Spaceflight (or space flight) is an application of astronautics to fly spacecraft into or through outer space, either with or without humans on board. Yuri Gagarin of the Soviet Unio ...
s began studying what was needed for an improved control center, and directed a study contract awarded to
Philco Philco (founded as Helios Electric Company, renamed Philadelphia Storage Battery Company) was a pioneer in battery, radio, and television production. In 1961 the company was purchased by Ford Ford commonly refers to: * Ford Motor Company T ...
's Western Development Laboratory. Philco bid on and won the contract to build the electronic equipment for the new Mission Control Center, which would be located in Building 30 of MSC rather than Canaveral or the
Goddard Space Flight Center The Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) is a major NASA The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA; ) is an independent agency A regulatory agency or regulatory authority, is a Public benefit corporation Public-benefit cor ...
in Maryland. Construction began in 1963. The new center had two Mission Operations Control Rooms, allowing training and preparation for a later mission to be carried out while a live mission is in progress. It was brought online for testing purposes during the uncrewed
Gemini 2 Gemini 2 (Gemini-Titan 2; GT-2) was the second spaceflight Spaceflight (or space flight) is an application of astronautics to fly spacecraft into or through outer space, either human spaceflight, with or uncrewed spaceflight, without humans ...

Gemini 2
flight in January 1965 and the first crewed Gemini flight,
Gemini 3 Gemini 3 was the first crewed mission in NASA's Gemini program and was the first time two American astronauts flew together into space. On March 23, 1965, astronauts Gus Grissom and John Young (astronaut), John Young flew three low Earth orbits ...

Gemini 3
in March 1965, though the Mercury Control Center still retained primary responsibility for control of these flights. It became fully operational for the flight of
Gemini 4 Gemini 4 (officially Gemini IV) With Gemini IV, NASA changed to Roman numerals for Gemini mission designations. was the second crewed spaceflight Human spaceflight (also referred to as manned spaceflight or crewed spaceflight) is spaceflig ...
the following June, and has been the primary flight control center for all subsequent US
crewed space mission Human spaceflight (also referred to as manned spaceflight or crewed spaceflight) is spaceflight with a crew or passengers aboard a spacecraft, the spacecraft being operated directly by the onboard human crew. Spacecraft can also be telerobotic ...
s from Project Gemini forward. NASA named the center the Christopher C. Kraft Jr. Mission Control Center on April 14, 2011.NASA - NASA Names Mission Control for Legendary Flight Director Christopher Kraft
Nasa.gov (2011-04-14). Retrieved on 2013-09-06.


Apollo program

In addition to housing NASA's astronaut operations, JSC is also the site of the former
Lunar Receiving Laboratory The Lunar Receiving Laboratory (LRL) was a facility at NASA's Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center (Building 37) that was constructed to quarantine astronauts and material brought back from the Moon during the Apollo program to mitigate the risk of ...

Lunar Receiving Laboratory
, where the first astronauts returning from the Moon were
quarantine A quarantine is a restriction on the movement of people, animals and goods which is intended to prevent the spread of disease A disease is a particular abnormal condition that negatively affects the structure A structure is an arr ...

quarantine
d, and where the majority of
lunar sample Moon rock or lunar rock refers to rock that is found on the Earth's Moon. This includes lunar material collected during the course of human exploration of the Moon, and rock that has been ejected naturally from the Moon's surface and landed on ...

lunar sample
s are stored. The center's Landing and Recovery Division operated in the Gulf of Mexico for Gemini and Apollo astronauts to practice water egress after
splashdown Splashdown is the method of landing of Ryanair Ryanair is an Irish ultra low-cost airline founded in 1984. It is headquartered in Swords, Dublin, with its primary operational bases at Dublin Dublin (, ; ) is the capital ...
. On February 19, 1973, after Johnson's death, President
Richard Nixon Richard Milhous Nixon (January 9, 1913April 22, 1994) was the 37th president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the and of the . The president directs the of the and is the of the . The power o ...

Richard Nixon
signed into law a Senate resolution renaming the Manned Spacecraft Center in honor of Johnson, who as
Senate Majority Leader The positions of Majority Leader and Minority Leader are held by two United States senators The United States Senate is the upper chamber of the United States Congress The United States Congress or U.S. Congress is the bicame ...
had sponsored the 1958 legislation which created NASA. Dedication ceremonies under the new name were held on August 27 of that year. One of the artifacts displayed at Johnson Space Center is the
Saturn V Saturn V was an American human-rated super heavy-lift launch vehicle used by NASA between 1967 and 1973. A multistage rocket, three-stage, liquid-propellant rocket, liquid-fueled rocket, the Saturn V was developed under the Apollo program for ...

Saturn V
rocket. It is whole, except for the ring between the
S-IC The S-IC (pronounced S-one-C) was the first stage Stage or stages may refer to: Acting * Stage (theatre), a space for the performance of theatrical productions * Theatre, a branch of the performing arts, often referred to as "the stage" * ''T ...
and S-II stages, and the fairing between the S-II and
S-IVB The S-IVB was the third stage on the Saturn V and second stage on the Saturn IB launch vehicles. Built by the Douglas Aircraft Company, it had one J-2 (rocket engine), J-2 rocket engine. For lunar missions it was fired twice: first for Earth orbi ...
stages, and made of actual surplus flight-ready articles. It also has real (though incomplete)
Apollo Apollo, grc, Ἀπόλλωνος, ''Apóllōnos'', label=genitive , ; , grc-dor, Ἀπέλλων, ''Apéllōn'', ; grc, Ἀπείλων, ''Apeílōn'', label=Arcadocypriot Greek, ; grc-aeo, Ἄπλουν, ''Áploun'', la, Apollō, ...
command and service modules, intended to fly in the canceled Apollo 19 mission. In June 2019, the restored Apollo Mission Control Center was opened for tourists.


Space Shuttle program

In the wake of the January 28, 1986, Space Shuttle ''Challenger'' disaster, President
Ronald Reagan Ronald Wilson Reagan ( ; February 6, 1911June 5, 2004) was an American politician who served as the 40th president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the and of the . The president directs the of ...

Ronald Reagan
and First Lady
Nancy Reagan Nancy Davis Reagan (born Anne Frances Robbins; July 6, 1921 – March 6, 2016) was an American film actress and first lady of the United States The first lady of the United States (FLOTUS) is the title held by the hostess of the White ...

Nancy Reagan
traveled to JSC on January 31 to speak at a memorial service honoring the astronauts. It was attended by 6,000 NASA employees and 4,000 guests, as well as by the families of the crew. During the ceremony, an Air Force band led the singing of "God Bless America" as NASA
T-38 Talon The Northrop T-38 Talon is a two-seat, twinjet A twinjet or twin-engine jet is a jet aircraft A jet aircraft (or simply jet) is an aircraft (nearly always a fixed-wing aircraft) propelled by jet engines. Whereas the engines in Propeller ...
supersonic jets flew directly over the scene in the traditional missing-man formation. All activities were broadcast live by the national television and radio networks. A similar memorial service was held at the Johnson Space Center on February 4, 2003, for the astronauts who perished in the Space Shuttle ''Columbia'' disaster three days before, which was attended by President
George W. Bush George Walker Bush (born July 6, 1946) is an American politician and businessman who served as the 43rd president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of government of the Un ...

George W. Bush
and First Lady
Laura Bush Laura Lane Welch Bush (''née'' Welch; born November 4, 1946) is an American teacher, librarian, memoirist and author who was the first lady of the United States from 2001 to 2009. Bush previously served as the List of First Ladies and Gentlem ...

Laura Bush
. Although that service was broadcast live by the national television and radio networks, it was geared mainly to NASA employees and the families of the astronauts. A second service for the nation was led by Vice-President
Dick Cheney Richard Bruce Cheney ( ; born January 30, 1941) is an American politician and businessman who served as the 46th vice president of the United States The vice president of the United States (VPOTUS) is the second-highest officer in the ex ...

Dick Cheney
and his wife Lynne at
Washington National Cathedral The Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in the City and Diocese of Washington, commonly known as Washington National Cathedral, is an American cathedral of the Episcopal Church (United States), Episcopal Church. The cathedral is loc ...

Washington National Cathedral
two days later. On September 13, 2008,
Hurricane Ike Hurricane Ike () was a powerful tropical cyclone A tropical cyclone is a rapidly rotating storm system characterized by a low-pressure center, a closed low-level atmospheric circulation Atmospheric circulation is the large-scale m ...

Hurricane Ike
hit
Galveston Galveston ( ) is a Gulf Coast of the United States, coastal resort town, resort city and port off the Southeast Texas coast on Galveston Island and Pelican Island (Texas), Pelican Island in the U.S. state of Texas. The community of , with a popu ...

Galveston
as a category 2 hurricane and caused minor damage to the Mission Control Center and other buildings at JSC. The storm damaged the roofs of several hangars for the T-38 Talons at
Ellington Field Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base is a joint installation shared by various active component and reserve component military units, as well as aircraft flight operations of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration The National Aer ...
.


Facilities

The Johnson Space Center is home to Christopher C. Kraft Jr. Mission Control Center (MCC-H), the NASA control center that coordinates and monitors all human spaceflight for the United States. MCC-H directed all
Space Shuttle The Space Shuttle is a retired, partially reusable low Earth orbit A low Earth orbit (LEO) is an Earth-centered orbit near the planet, often specified as having a period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * ...

Space Shuttle
missions, and currently directs American activities aboard the
International Space Station The International Space Station (ISS) is a Modular design, modular space station (habitable satellite, artificial satellite) in low Earth orbit. It is a multinational collaborative project involving five participating space agencies: NASA (Uni ...

International Space Station
. The Apollo Mission Control Center, a
National Historic Landmark A National Historic Landmark (NHL) is a building, district, object, site, or structure that is officially recognized by the United States government The federal government of the United States (U.S. federal government or U.S. governme ...
, is in Building 30. From the moment a crewed spacecraft clears its launch tower until it lands back on Earth, it is in the hands of Mission Control. The MCC houses several Flight Control Rooms, from which
flight controller Flight controllers are personnel who aid space flight Spaceflight (or space flight) is an application of astronautics to fly spacecraft into or through outer space, either with or without humans on board. Yuri Gagarin of the Soviet Unio ...
s coordinate and monitor the spaceflights. The rooms have many computer resources to monitor, command, and communicate with spacecraft. When a mission is underway, the rooms are staffed around the clock, usually in three shifts. JSC handles most of the planning and training of the US astronaut corps and houses training facilities such as the Sonny Carter Training Facility and the
Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory The Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL) is an astronaut An astronaut (from the Greek "astron" (ἄστρον), meaning "star", and "nautes" (ναύτης), meaning "sailor") is a person trained, equipped, and deployed by a human spaceflight p ...
, a critical component in training astronauts for spacewalks. The Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory provides a controlled neutral
buoyancy Buoyancy (), or upthrust, is an upward exerted by a that opposes the of a partially or fully immersed object. In a column of fluid, pressure increases with depth as a result of the weight of the overlying fluid. Thus the pressure at the bo ...

buoyancy
environment—a very large pool containing about 6.2 million US gallons (23,000 m3) of water where astronauts train to practice
extra-vehicular activity Extravehicular activity (EVA) is any activity done by an astronaut or cosmonaut outside a spacecraft A spacecraft is a vehicle or machine designed to fly in outer space. A type of artificial satellite alt=, A full-size model of t ...
tasks while simulating
zero-g Weightlessness is the complete or near-complete absence of the sensation of weight In science and engineering, the weight of an object is the force acting on the object due to gravity. Some standard textbooks define weight as a Euclidean vec ...

zero-g
conditions. The facility provides preflight training in becoming familiar with crew activities and with the dynamics of body motion under weightless conditions. Building 31-N houses the
Lunar Sample Laboratory Facility The Lunar Sample Laboratory Facility (LSLF) is a repository and laboratory facility at NASA The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA; ) is an independent agencies of the United States government, independent agency of the Fed ...
, which stores, analyzes, and processes most of the samples returned from the Moon during the Apollo program. The center is also responsible for direction of operations at
White Sands Test Facility White Sands Test Facility (WSTF) is a U.S. government rocket engine test facility A rocket engine test facility is a location where rocket engine A rocket engine uses stored rocket propellants as the reaction mass for forming a high-speed ...
in
New Mexico ) , population_demonym = New Mexican ( es, Neomexicano, Neomejicano, Nuevo Mexicano) , seat = Santa Fe , LargestCity = Albuquerque , LargestMetro = Greater Albuquerque , OfficialLang = None , Languages = English English usually refer ...

New Mexico
, which served as a backup
Space Shuttle The Space Shuttle is a retired, partially reusable low Earth orbit A low Earth orbit (LEO) is an Earth-centered orbit near the planet, often specified as having a period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * ...

Space Shuttle
landing site and would have been the coordinating facility for the
Constellation program The Constellation program (abbreviated CxP) was a crewed spaceflight Human spaceflight (also referred to as manned spaceflight or crewed spaceflight) is spaceflight Spaceflight (or space flight) is an application of astronautics Astro ...
, which was planned to replace the Shuttle program after 2010, but was canceled in 2009. The visitor center has been the adjacent
Space Center Houston Space Center Houston is a science museum which serves as the official visitor center of NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston. It has earned a place as a Smithsonian Affiliations, Smithsonian Affiliate museum in 2014. The organization is owned ...
since 1994; JSC Building 2 previously housed the visitor center. The Johnson Space Center Heliport is located on the campus.


Personnel and training

About 3,200 civil servants, including 110
astronaut An astronaut (from the Greek "astron" (ἄστρον), meaning "star", and "nautes" (ναύτης), meaning "sailor") is a person trained, equipped, and deployed by a List of human spaceflight programs, human spaceflight program to serve as a ...

astronaut
s, are employed at Johnson Space Center. The bulk of the workforce consists of over 11,000
contractors A general contractor, main contractor or prime contractor is responsible for the day-to-day oversight of a construction Construction is a general term meaning the and to form , , or ,"Construction" def. 1.a. 1.b. and 1.c. ''Oxford Englis ...
. As of October 2014, Stinger Ghaffarian Technologies took over
United Space Alliance :''In this article, USA refers to the United Space Alliance, not United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily lo ...
's primary contract. The center's thirteenth dirctor as of 2021 was Vanessa E. Wyche, the first being Robert R. Gilruth. NASA's astronaut training is conducted at the Johnson Space Center. Astronaut candidates receive training on spacecraft systems and in basic sciences including mathematics, guidance and navigation, oceanography, orbital dynamics, astronomy, and physics. Candidates are required to complete military water survival prior to beginning their flying instruction. Candidates are also required to become -qualified for extravehicular training and are required to pass a swimming test. EVA training is conducted at the Sonny Carter Training Facility. Candidates are also trained to deal with emergencies associated with
hyperbaric Hyperbaric medicine is medical treatment in which an ambient pressure greater than sea level atmospheric pressure is a necessary component. The treatment comprises hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT), the medical use of oxygen Oxygen is the ch ...
and
hypobaric (Spain), used with patients and athletes who need treatment or training with reduced atmospheric pressure A hypobaric chamber, or altitude chamber, is a chamber used during aerospace physiology, aerospace or high terrestrial altitude research or t ...
atmospheric pressures and are given exposure to the microgravity of space flight. Candidates maintain their flying proficiency by flying 15 hours per month in NASA's fleet of T-38 jets based at nearby Ellington Field.


Research

Johnson Space Center leads NASA's human spaceflight-related scientific and medical research programs. Technologies developed for spaceflight are now in use in many areas of
medicine Medicine is the science Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness, or understanding of someone or something, such as facts ( descriptive knowledge), skills (proced ...

medicine
,
energy In physics Physics is the that studies , its , its and behavior through , and the related entities of and . "Physical science is that department of knowledge which relates to the order of nature, or, in other words, to the regula ...

energy
,
transportation Transport (in British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect A standard language (also standard variety, standard dialect, and standard) is a language variety that has undergone substantial codification of grammar and ...

transportation
,
agriculture Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary Image:Family watching television 1958.jpg, Exercise trends, Increases in sedentary behaviors su ...

agriculture
,
communications Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Rep ...
, and
electronics The field of electronics is a branch of physics and electrical engineering that deals with the emission, behaviour and effects of electrons The electron is a subatomic particle In physical sciences, subatomic particles are smaller than ...
. The Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science (ARES) office performs the
physical science Physical science is a branch of natural science Natural science is a Branches of science, branch of science concerned with the description, understanding and prediction of Phenomenon, natural phenomena, based on empirical evidence from observa ...
research at the center. ARES directs and manages all functions and activities of the ARES scientists who perform
basic research Basic research, also called pure research or fundamental research, is a type of scientific research The scientific method is an Empirical evidence, empirical method of acquiring knowledge that has characterized the development of science s ...
in
earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. The remaining 70.8% is Water distribution on Earth, covered wi ...
, planetary, and
space sciences The following Outline (list), outline is provided as an overview and topical guide to space science: Space science , collectively also known as astroscience, encompasses all of the branches of science, scientific disciplines that involve space e ...
. ARES scientists and engineers provide support to the
human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A speci ...

human
and
robotic spaceflight Spaceflight (or space flight) is an application of astronautics to fly spacecraft into or through outer space, either human spaceflight, with or uncrewed spaceflight, without humans on board. Most spaceflight is uncrewed and conducted mainly wit ...
programs. The responsibilities of ARES also include interaction with the Office of Safety and Mission Assurance and the Human Space Flight Programs. Johnson Space Center was granted a five-year, $120-million extension of its agreement with the National Space Biomedical Research Institute at
Baylor College of Medicine Baylor may refer to: __NOTOC__ American schools * Baylor University Baylor University, or simply Baylor, is a Private university, private Baptist research university in Waco, Texas. Baylor was chartered in 1845 by the last Congress of the Repub ...

Baylor College of Medicine
to study the health risks related to long-duration space flight. The extension will allow a continuation of
biomedical research Medical research (or biomedical research), also known as experimental medicine, encompasses a wide array of research, extending from "basic research Basic research, also called pure research or fundamental research, is a type of scientific r ...
in support of a long-term human presence in space started by the institute and NASA's Human Research Program through 2012. The Prebreathe Reduction Program is a research study program at the JSC that is currently being developed to improve the safety and efficiency of space walks from the
International Space Station The International Space Station (ISS) is a Modular design, modular space station (habitable satellite, artificial satellite) in low Earth orbit. It is a multinational collaborative project involving five participating space agencies: NASA (Uni ...

International Space Station
. The Overflow (software), Overset Grid-Flow software was developed at Johnson Space Center in collaboration with NASA Ames Research Center. The software simulates Fluid dynamics, fluid flow around solid bodies using computational fluid dynamics.


Memorial Grove

Astronauts, center directors, and other NASA employees are memorialized in a Memorial Grove near the main entrance and visitor badging center (building 110). Trees dedicated to the memory of astronauts and center directors are in a round cluster closest to the entrance, other employees are memorialized behind along a road on the facility leading to the main entrance.


Space Shuttle retirement

JSC put in a bid to display one of the retired Space Shuttle orbiters, but was not selected.


Gallery


See also

* Johnson Space Center shooting * List of NASA contractors * Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center


References


Further reading

* * * * * *


External links


Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center

''Suddenly, tomorrow came... A history of the Johnson Space Center'' (PDF format) 1993


* [http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/roundup/online/ ''Roundup'', official newsletter]
NASA Johnson Space Center Oral History Project – Interview with Thomas W. 'Tommy' Holloway


* [http://www.nps.gov/history/nr/travel/aviation/ Aviation: From Sand Dunes to Sonic Booms, a National Park Service ''Discover Our Shared Heritage'' Travel Itinerary]
Mission Control Archive Footage
{{DEFAULTSORT:Johnson Space Center Johnson Space Center, Buildings of the United States government in Texas NASA facilities Buildings and structures in Houston Tourist attractions in Houston Space technology research institutes Economy of Houston 1961 establishments in Texas Lyndon B. Johnson