Encyclopedia Astronautica
Kraft



zkraftc.jpg
Kraft
Credit: NASA
Kraft, Christopher C (1924-) American engineer at NASA 1945-1982, headed manned spaceflight mission control during Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo projects.

Christopher C. Kraft, Jr. was a long-standing official with NASA throughout the Apollo program. He received as B.S. in aeronautical engineering from Virginia Polytechnic University in 1944 and joined the Langley Aeronautical Laboratory of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) the next year. In 1958, 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. He was named the MSC deputy director in 1970 and its director two years later, a position he held until his retirement in 1982. Since then he has remained active as an aerospace consultant.

Born: 1924.

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • NASA American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA, USA. More...

Bibliography
  • Launius, Roger D, NASA Chief Historian, NASA History Office Home Page, Web Address when accessed: here.

Kraft Chronology


1960 February 12 - .
  • Project Mercury operations coordination group established at the Atlantic Missile Range. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Kraft. Program: Mercury. Summary: With Project Mercury about to enter a heavy operational phase, an operations coordination group was established at the Atlantic Missile Range. Christopher C. Kraft, Jr. was appointed to head this group..

1962 March 15-16 - .
  • First monthly meeting of the Apollo design and review team to survey NAA's progress - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Faget; Kraft; Maynard. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Fuel Cell; CSM Heat Shield. Charles W. Frick, Manager of the MSC Apollo Spacecraft Project Office, together with Maxime A. Faget, Charles W. Mathews, Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., John B. Lee, Owen E. Maynard, and Alan B. Kehlet of MSC and George M. Low of the NASA Office of Manned Space Flight, visited NAA at Downey, Calif. This was the first monthly meeting of the Apollo design and review team to survey NAA's progress in various areas, including the Apollo spacecraft heatshield, fuel cells, and service module.

1963 April 11 - .
  • Manned Orbital Research Laboratory (MORL). - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Kraft. Spacecraft: MORL. Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., John D. Hodge, and William L. Davidson of MSC's light Operations Division met at Langley with a large contingent of that Center's research staff to discuss LaRC's proposed Manned Orbital Research Laboratory (MORL). Langley spokesmen briefed their Houston visitors on the philosophy and proposed program phases leading to an operational MORL. Kraft and his colleagues then emphasized the need for careful study of operational problems involved with the MORL, as well as those associated with the smaller crew ferry and logistics supply vehicles. Specifically, they cited crew selection and training requirements, the need for a continuous recovery capability, communications requirements, and handling procedures for scientific data.

1963 May 21 - .
  • Cooper receives Medal for Mercury. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Kennedy; Kraft. Program: Mercury. Flight: Mercury MA-9. Summary: In a White House ceremony, President John F. Kennedy presented astronaut Gordon Cooper with the NASA Distinguished Service Medal. . Additional Details: here....

1963 November 5 - .
  • Reorganization of MSC - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Faget; Kraft; Shea; Slayton. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Gemini. MSC Director Robert R. Gilruth announced a reorganization of MSC to strengthen the management of the Apollo and Gemini programs. Under Gilruth and Deputy Director James C. Elms, there were now four Assistant Directors, Managers for both the Gemini and Apollo programs, and a Manager for MSC's Florida Operations. Assigned to these positions were:

    Maxime A. Faget, Assistant Director for Engineering and Development Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., Assistant Director for Flight Operations Donald K. Slayton, Assistant Director for Flight Crew Operations Wesley L. Hjornevik, Assistant Director for Administration Joseph F. Shea, Manager, Apollo Spacecraft Program Office Charles W. Mathews, Manager, Gemini Program Office and G. Merritt Preston, Manager, MSC Florida Operations.


1964 October 5-8 - .
  • Formal review of the Apollo LEM mockup M-5 - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Faget; Kraft; Slayton. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Ascent Propulsion; LM Descent Propulsion; LM Electrical; LM Landing Gear. NASA conducted a formal review of the LEM mockup M-5 at the Grumman factory. This inspection was intended to affirm that the M-5 configuration reflected all design requirements and to definitize the LEM configuration. Members of the Mockup Review Board were Chairman Owen E. Maynard, Chief, Systems Engineering Division, ASPO; R. W. Carbee, LEM Subsystem Project Engineer, Grumman; Maxime A. Faget, Assistant Director for Engineering and Development, MSC; Thomas J. Kelly, LEM Project Engineer, Grumman; Christopher C. Kraft, Jr. (represented by Sigurd A. Sjoberg), Assistant Director for Flight Operations, MSC; Owen G. Morris, Chief, Reliability and Quality Assurance Division, ASPO; William F. Rector III, LEM Project Officer, ASPO; and Donald K. Slayton, Assistant Director for Flight Crew Operations, MSC.

    The astronauts' review was held on October 5 and 6. It included demonstrations of entering and getting out of the LEM, techniques for climbing and descending the ladder, and crew mobility inside the spacecraft. The general inspection was held on the 7th and the Review Board met on the 8th. Those attending the review used request for change (RFC) forms to propose spacecraft design alterations. Before submission to the Board, these requests were discussed by contractor personnel and NASA coordinators to assess their effect upon system design, interfaces, weight, and reliability.

    The inspection categories were crew provisions; controls, displays, and lighting; the stabilization and control system and the guidance and navigation radar; electrical power; propulsion (ascent, descent, reaction control system, and pyrotechnics ; power generation cryogenic storage and fuel cell assemblies ; environmental control; communications and instrumentation; structures and landing gear; scientific equipment; and reliability and quality' control. A total of 148 RFCs were submitted. Most were aimed at enhancing the spacecraft's operational capability; considerable attention also was given to quality and reliability and to ground checkout of various systems. No major redesigns of the configuration were suggested.

    As a result of this review, the Board recommended that Grumman take immediate action on those RFC's which it had approved. Further, the LEM contractor and MSC should promptly investigate those items which the Board had assigned for further study. On the basis of the revised M-5 configuration, Grumman could proceed with LEM development and qualification. This updated mockup would be the basis for tooling and fabrication of the initial hardware as well.


1965 February 12 - . LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 2.
  • Gemini-Titan (GT) 3 mission might be flown between March 22 and 25, 1965. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Kraft. Flight: Gemini 4. Director of Flight Operations Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., told the Manned Spacecraft Center senior staff that the Gemini-Titan (GT) 3 mission might be flown between March 22 and 25, although it was officially scheduled for the second quarter of 1965. In addition, the Houston control center was being considered for use in the GT-4 mission.

1965 September 16 - .
  • Recovery personnel to be able to enter the Apollo CM through the main hatch - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Kraft. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Hatch; CSM Heat Shield; CSM Recovery. MSC's Assistant Director for Flight Operations, Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., told ASPO Manager Joseph F. Shea that postlanding operational procedures require that recovery force personnel have the capability of gaining access into the interior of the CM through the main crew hatch. This was necessary, he said, so recovery force swimmers could provide immediate aid to the crew, if required, and for normal postlanding operations by recovery engineers such as spacecraft shutdown, crew removal, data retrieval, etc.

    Kraft said the crew compartment heatshield might char upon reentry in such a manner as to make it difficult to distinguish the outline of the main egress hatch. This potential problem and the necessity of applying a force outward to free the hatch might demand use of a "crow bar" tool to chip the ablator and apply a prying force on the hatch.

    Since this would be a special tool, it would have to be distributed to recovery forces on a worldwide basis or be carried aboard the spacecraft. Kraft requested that the tool be mounted onboard the spacecraft in a manner to be readily accessible. He requested that the design incorporate a method to preclude loss of the tool - either by designing the tool to float or by attaching it to the spacecraft by a lanyard.


1966 April 21 - .
  • MSC announced the establishment of an Apollo Flight Experiment Board - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Faget; Kraft; Slayton. Program: Apollo. MSC announced the establishment of a Flight Experiment Board. The Board would select and recommend to the Director space flight experiments proposed from within the Center and judged by the Board to be in the best interest of the Center and the NASA space flight program. MSC-originated flight experiments were expected normally to be designated as one of two general classifications: Type I - Medical, Space Science, Flight Operations or Engineering that would yield new knowledge or improve the state of the art; Type II - Operational, which would be required in direct support of major manned flight programs such as Apollo.

    Members appointed to the Board were George M. Low, chairman; Warren Gillespie, Jr., executive secretary; Maxime A. Faget; Robert O. Piland; Charles A. Berry; Christopher C. Kraft, Jr.; Donald K. Slayton; Kenneth S. Kleinknecht; and Joseph N. Kotanchik. The Board would meet bimonthly on the first Friday of every even month, with called meetings at the direction of the chairman when necessary to expedite experiments.


1966 May 19 - .
  • Problem of potential Apollo mission aborts - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Kraft. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM Guidance. E. E. Christensen, NASA OMSF Director of Mission Operations, in a letter to Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., MSC, said he was certain the problem of potential mission abort was receiving considerable attention within the Flight Operations Directorate. The resulting early development of related mission rules should provide other mission activities with adequate planning information for design, engineering, procedural, and training decisions. Christensen requested that development of medical mission rules be given emphasis in planning, to minimize the necessity for late modification of spacecraft telemetry systems, on-board instrumentation, ground-based data-processing schemes, and training schedules.

1966 July 1 - .
  • Three additional backup Apollo missions studied - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Kraft. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 8. Director of Flight Operations Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., said that MSC had been directed by NASA OMSF to outline technical problems and both cost and schedule impact of adding three backup Apollo missions to the planned flight schedule. The missions to be evaluated would be AS-207/208 or AS-206/207; AS-503D; and AS-503F. Each of these missions would provide alternate means of obtaining primary program objectives in the event of flight contingencies during tests or of major schedule adjustments. Additional Details: here....

1966 July 13 - . LV Family: Saturn V. Launch Vehicle: Saturn V.
  • Apollo mission discontinuity leading to the lunar landing - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Kraft; Shea. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 7; Apollo 204. Spacecraft: Gemini. MSC Director of Flight Crew Operations Donald K. Slayton and Director of Flight Operations Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., told ASPO Manager Joseph F. Shea: "A comprehensive examination of the Apollo missions leading to the lunar landing indicates that there is a considerable discontinuity between missions AS-205 and AS-207/208". Additional Details: here....

1967 January 4 - .
  • Apollo alternate lunar surface mission plans - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Kraft. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM ECS; LM Weight. An MSC meeting selected a Flight Operations Directorate position on basic factors of the first lunar landing mission phase and initiated a plan by which the Directorate would inform other organizations of the factors and the operational capabilities of combining them into alternate lunar surface mission plans.

    Flight Operations Director Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., conducted the discussion, with Rodney G. Rose, Carl Kovitz, Morris V. Jenkins, William E. Platt, James E. Hannigan, Bruce H. Walton, and William L. Davidson participating.

    The major factors (philosophy) identified at the meeting were:

    • "The astronauts should be provided with an extravehicular (EVA) timeline framework and objectives and then be given real time control of their own activities. This approach should better accommodate the first lunar surface unknowns than if rigorous activity control were attempted from earth."
    • "The LM should always be in a position to get back into lunar orbit in the minimum time. Specifically the merits and feasibility of maintaining the LM platform powered up and aligned should be evaluated. Any other LM systems requiring start up time after powering down should be identified."
    • "The constraints affecting the minimum time required to turn around and launch after LM landing and the time line should be determined. This time was estimated to two CSM orbits. The effects of Manned Space Flight Network (MSFN) support should be considered."
    • The first EVA should be allocated to LM post landing inspection, immediate lunar sample collection, lunar environment familiarization, photographic documentation, and astronaut exploration prerogatives. Any second EVA would include deployment of ALSEP (Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package) and a more systematic geological survey. Therefore, a mission nominally planned for only one EVA would not have to include an ALSEP in the payload. Any flight operations benefits resulting from deletion of the ALSEP weight and deployment operations (such as replacing weight with more fuel) must be determined."
    Other less important factors were discussed and several action items were assigned: Rose would be responsible for successful implementation of plans resulting from the meeting. Hannigan would determine the LM, portable life support system, and ALSEP systems constraints and determine if the ALSEP weight allowance could be beneficially applied to LM consumables. The Operations Analysis Branch would investigate the MSFN support.

1967 February 21 - .
  • Apollo program officials briefed on findings / recommendations of the Apollo 204 Review Board - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Kraft. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 204. Summary: Apollo program officials were briefed on significant information, tentative findings, and preliminary recommendations developed by the Apollo 204 Review Board. . Additional Details: here....

1967 March 15 - . LV Family: Saturn V. Launch Vehicle: Saturn V.
  • Rendezvous with S-IVB stage primary objective of Apollo 7 - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Kraft. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 7. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM. Summary: MSC Director of Flight Crew Operations Donald K. Slayton requested that a rendezvous of the CSM with its launch vehicle S-IVB stage be a primary objective of the Apollo 2 mission.. Additional Details: here....

1967 April 17 - . LV Family: Saturn V. Launch Vehicle: Saturn V.
  • Requirements of the Apollo flight program before the first lunar landing mission - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Kraft. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 7. Spacecraft: Apollo LM. Summary: A meeting at MSC considered requirements of the Apollo flight program before the first lunar landing mission. . Additional Details: here....

1967 June 1 - .
  • Apollo schedules - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Kraft. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM. MSC's Director of Flight Operations Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., told ASPO Manager George M. Low that his Directorate was willing to support the flight test program presented in late May and felt that the computer programs and operational support he had in development would support the flights as currently scheduled. He did offer some comments on the proposed flight test program and asked that the NASA Office of Manned Space Flight be given an indication that his suggested program was being considered as a future alternate approach. The comments included:

    1. "The first manned LM flight appears to be most ambitious. We believe that when the time comes, a much more conservative approach to the flight plan will be taken because of the lack of experience with the LM spacecraft. . . .
    2. We have the general feeling that there are insufficient flight tests scheduled in order to prove the worthiness of the LM and that a lunar landing flight could only follow a successfully completed schedule of LM flights. . . .
    3. We believe that a lunar orbit flight with the CSM/LM should be included in the flight test program, as an alternate to the third CSM/LM flight you have proposed, or as an additional flight to the program. . . .
    4. . . . we believe it feasible that one of the LM development flights could be conducted as safely in the vicinity of the moon as in earth orbit, assuming that the CSM has been proven at that time. . . .
    5. Finally, we believe that the lunar type flight programs we propose would have great impact on the stature of the nation's space program. . . ."

1967 September 26 - .
  • Flammability Test Review Board for Apollo LM M-6 - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Faget; Kraft. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Crew Station. The Flammability Test Review Board met at MSC to determine if the M-6 vehicle (a full-scale mockup of the LM cabin interior) was ready for test and that the ignition points, configuration, instrumentation, and test facility were acceptable for verifying the fire safety of LTA-8 and LM-2 vehicles. Additional Details: here....

1967 December 21 - .
  • Apollo Lunar Mission Planning Board - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Kraft. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Weight. A Lunar Mission Planning Board meeting was held at MSC with Julian M. West as acting chairman. Also present were Wilmot N. Hess, Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., Paul E. Purser, and Andre J. Meyer, Jr. (secretary); and invited participants Gus R. Babb, John M. Eggleston, and James J. Taylor. The meeting agenda involved two main subjects:

    1. review of major meetings recently held involving lunar exploration and planning; and
    2. review of the remote sensors for use in lunar orbit and payload available on the CSM during a manned landing mission for carrying remote sensing instrumentation.
    Additional Details: here....

1968 March 1 - .
  • Threat posed by an uncontrolled reentry of Apollo 6 - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Kraft. Program: Apollo. Summary: John D. Stevenson, Director of Mission Operations, NASA OMSF, requested that MSC Flight Operations Director Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., prepare an analysis of the potential terrestrial threat posed by an uncontrolled reentry of the Apollo 6 spacecraft. . Additional Details: here....

1968 May 17 - .
  • Concern over escalation of Apollo E-mission objectives - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Kraft; Low, George. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Ascent Propulsion. Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., MSC Director of Flight Operations, expressed concern to ASPO Manager George M. Low over the escalation of E-mission objectives; the flight now loomed as an extremely complex and ambitious mission. The probability of accomplishing all the objectives set forth for the mission, said Kraft, was very low. He did not propose changing the mission plan, however. "If we are fortunate," he said, "then certainly the quickest way to the moon will be achieved." Kraft did suggest caution in setting mission priorities and in "apply(ing) adjectives to the objectives." Additional Details: here....

1969 June 20 - .
  • Requirements for the Apollo lunar roving vehicle (LRV) design - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Kraft. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LRV. Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., MSC Director of Flight Operations, recommended that the following fundamental requirements be considered during the lunar roving vehicle (LRV) design approach: "a. A means of continuous voice communication with one crew member, on or off the LRV to the mother station (LM) and from the mother station to earth, must be provided. b. A simple dead reckoning system should be considered for determining the LRV and crew location at all times in order to provide a safe return of the astronauts to the LM. The accuracy should be sufficient to permit the astronauts to rendezvous with the LM from any point on a sortie. c. The vehicle should be designed so that a telemetry system is not required for operation. However, for crew safety and systems operations, instrumentation may be required."

1969 November 3 - .
  • In-house review reevaluates the Apollo secondary life support system - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Kraft. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM; CSM ECS. Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., MSC Director of Flight Operations, suggested that an in-house review reevaluate the Apollo secondary life support system, because of its complexity and cost of development, and at the same time reexamine the possibilities of an expanded oxygen purge system using identical concepts.

1969 November 26 - .
  • Christopher C Kraft, Jr, appointed Deputy Director of MSC - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Kraft. Program: Apollo. Summary: Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., was appointed Deputy Director of MSC. Kraft, Director of Flight Operations at MSC since November 1963, succeeded George S. Trimble, Jr., who had resigned September 30..

1969 December 28 - .
  • Sigurd A Sjoberg named Director of Flight Operations - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Kraft. Program: Apollo. Summary: MSC announced the appointment of Sigurd A. Sjoberg as Director of Flight Operations, replacing Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., who had been appointed MSC Deputy Director Nov. 26. Sjoberg had been Deputy Director of Flight Operations since 1963..

1972 January 14 - .
  • Gilruth appointed NASA Director of Key Personnel Development - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Gilruth; Kraft. Program: Apollo. Manned Spacecraft Center Robert R. Gilruth was appointed to the newly created position of NASA Director of Key Personnel Development. He would integrate NASA planning to fill key positions, identify actual and potential candidates, and guide them through appropriate work experience.

    Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., MSC Deputy Director, was named Director of MSC. Both Kraft and Gilruth were original members of the NASA Space Task Group established in 1958 to manage Project Mercury.


1972 January 18 - .
  • Sigurd A Sjoberg named Deputy Director of Manned Spacecraft Center. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Kraft. Program: Apollo. Summary: Sigurd A. Sjoberg was named Deputy Director of Manned Spacecraft Center. Sjoberg succeeded Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., who was named Director of MSC January 14..

Home - Browse - Contact
© / Conditions for Use