History of Johnson Space Center

The Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston, Texas, was established in 1961. From the Gemini, Apollo and Skylab projects to today's Space Shuttle and International Space Station Programs, the Center continues to lead NASA's efforts in human space exploration.

President John F. Kennedy’s aim was to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade. The NASA installation was originally designated the Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC), and its purpose was to be the lead center 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 met the criteria: the availability of water transport and a first-class all-weather airport, a major telecommunications network, industrial and contractor support, a mild climate for year-round outdoor work, and a culturally attractive community. Houston is also close to military facilities for handling NASA's large fleet of jets and has famous universities.

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

JSC is also home to NASA's Astronaut Corps and is the principal training site for space shuttle crews and International Space Station Expedition crews. JSC leads NASA's flight-related scientific and medical research efforts to make revolutionary discoveries and advances to benefit all humankind.

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

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