Christopher Kraft and Eugene Kranz have been named to the list of NASA's first generation of explorers honored as Ambassadors of Exploration.
Kraft is considered the architect of Mission Control, designing systems from the ground up. Kranz will be forever linked to the phrase "Failure is not an option," NASA said, noting he is also remembered for his flat-top hairstyle and relentless dedication to mission success.
NASA's Ambassadors of Exploration are presented with a moon rock to recognize the sacrifices and dedication of the astronauts and others who were part of the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs.
"The early years of our nation's space program had 400,000 heroes, not just the astronauts who took the first tentative steps into space," said NASA Administrator Michael Griffin. "And no one in those early years carried this responsibility more visibly, or with more grace and fortitude, than did 'Red Flight' Chris Kraft and 'White Flight' Gene Kranz.
"And no two people are more deserving of the title 'Ambassador of Exploration' than these men," said Griffin. "I have been privileged to know them, and to confer this recognition upon them."
Copyright 2006 by United Press International