Too bad most people know the details of Apollo 11’s moon landing through the 1995 movie starring Tom Hanks, Ed Harris, Tom Paxton, Gary Sinise and others — directed by Ron Howard. It’s a great movie! But the real characters belied American bravado of the time.
To be alive during the space race was a heady experience. Walter Cronkite – the greatest space afficianado of all time helped you feel the excitement through his broadcast erudition.
But all eyes eventually focused on THAT room. The Control Room, the Console Room in building 30 of the Johnson Space Center in Houston.
Along with fellow documentarian Brent Baader, I got to witness the re-building of a fully functional console room 50 years later. The amount of effort that went into re-creating this iconic room…down to the big ashtrays, the 60’s coffee cups, and the vacuum-tube messaging system was nothing short of stunning.
Perfectionism was the watchword. Archeologists, forensic historians, and detail-oriented workers impressed me hour after hour with the care they took to make the Mission Control room look exactly as it did the moment the lander hit Tranquility Base.
I could go on, but the documentary does a much better job. It was an honor to voice, host, and reort on this event. Watch below.