Kraft, Christopher Colombus, Jr. (1924–)
Christopher Kraft was a NASA flight director involved with many of
the early American manned spaceflights. He received a B.S. in aeronautical
engineering from Virginia Polytechnic University in 1944 and joined the Langley Aeronautical Laboratory of NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics) the following year. In 1958,
while still at Langley, he became a member of the Space Task Group developing Project Mercury and moved with the
Group to Houston in 1962. He was flight director for all of the Mercury
and many of the Gemini missions and
directed the design of Mission Control at the Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC),
redesignated the Johnson Space Center in 1973.
Kraft moved up to become director of flight operations at MSC through the
entire Apollo program, then director
of Johnson Space Center until his retirement in 1982. Since then he has
remained active as an aerospace consultant and, in 2001, published an autobiography, Flight: My Life in Mission Control.