NASA's Gene Kranz wants you to save Apollo-era mission control

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Sep 3, 2019, 7:19 AM EDT (Updated)

Houston, we have a problem: The mission control center that NASA used for the Apollo program—the U.S. mission to send Americans to the moon and back—is in disrepair. And NASA’s former flight director Gene Kranz wants you to save it with a Kickstarter.

According to the Kickstarter page, this national historic landmark needs $5 million. However, “the Webster Challenge to Restore Historic Mission Control” is asking us for $500,000. Here's why:

Unlimited visitor access [to the Apollo Mission Control Center at NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas] and declining budgets have taken a toll on this much-revered site. The result is that the condition of the Historic Mission Control has deteriorated to the point that the National Park Service listed it as “threatened” in 2015.

This restoration isn’t just to repair damage: The site was reconfigured and upgraded in the late 1970s when it served as a hub for the Space Shuttle program. The money raised now will restore the consoles to the condition they were in during Apollo 15 operations, in 1971.

The town of Webster, Texas, the bedroom community of many NASA employees, promises to match your donation. Kickstarter perks include Mission Control patches and, ooo, a punch-out model of the Apollo 11 command module.

You have until August 18 to make your contribution. Start kicking in to help what Kranz calls “the greatest engineering feet of the 20th century.”

Via Kickstarter.