History of Johnson Space Center

The Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston, Texas, was established in 1961. The Center leads NASA's efforts in human space exploration. Their projects include the Gemini, Apollo, and Skylab projects, and the more recent Space Shuttle and International Space Station programs.

President John F. Kennedy aimed to put a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s. The NASA installation was originally called the Manned Spacecraft Center, designed to be the headquarters for U.S. space missions involving astronauts. It was renamed the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in 1973.

Houston was chosen for the center because it was close to water transport, and it has a first-class all-weather airport, a major telecommunications network, and industrial and contractor support. The area has a mild climate for year-round outdoor work and is a culturally attractive community. Houston is also close to military facilities for handling NASA's large fleet of jets. The city has famous universities.

The Center's Mission Control Center is the operational hub of every American human space mission. It manages all activity on the International Space Station (ISS), a U.S.-led collaborative effort of 16 nations. The ISS is the largest, most powerful human facility to ever operate in space. JSC also directs all space shuttle missions, including station assembly flights and Hubble Space Telescope servicing.

JSC serves as the main training site for space shuttle crews and International Space Station crews. JSC leads NASA's flight-related scientific and medical research efforts.

Source: History of Johnson Space Center
Courtesy of National Aeronautics and Space Administration

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