NASA Honors Legendary Flight Director Gene Kranz


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NASA will honor Eugene Francis "Gene" Kranz with the presentation of an Ambassador of Exploration Award for his involvement in the U.S. space program. Kranz will receive the award during a ceremony at 2 p.m. CST on Dec. 6 at the Central Catholic High School. Kranz is a 1951 graduate of Central Catholic. The award will remain at the Toledo school for display. Reporters who would like to attend the ceremony should contact Michele Jurek (mjurek@centralcatholic.org) at 419-255-2306, ext. 148, by 3 p.m. on Dec. 5.

The award is a moon rock encased in Lucite and mounted for public display as inspiration to a new generation of explorers who will help return humans to the moon and eventually travel on to Mars and beyond. The rock is part of the 842 pounds of samples collected during the six Apollo lunar expeditions from 1969 to 1972.

NASA is giving the Ambassador of Exploration Award to the first generation of explorers in the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo space programs for realizing America's vision of going to the moon. NASA also is recognizing several key individuals who played significant roles in the early space programs.

Kranz worked on NASA's Mercury, Gemini and Apollo space missions. Kranz was the lead flight director during the Apollo 13 mission. An explosion aboard the spacecraft during Apollo 13 required Kranz and other team members to help resolve the crisis and safely bring the astronauts back to Earth. Kranz was a co-recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom for the Apollo 13 Mission. For information about Central Catholic High School, visit:

http://www.centralcatholic.org/

For more images of the award, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegallery/AofEphotos.html

CONTACT: David E. Steitz of NASA Headquarters, Washington, +1-202-358-1730, david.steitz@nasa.gov; or Michele Jurek of Central Catholic High School, Toledo, Ohio, +1-419-255-2306, ext. 148, mjurek@centralcatholic.org

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