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Apollo 13 Mission Operations Team

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President Nixon awards the Presidential Medal of Freedom to the Apollo 13 Mission Operations Team at the Manned Spacecraft Center. Pictured (l-r) are Thomas O. Paine, Nixon, Glynn Lunney, Gene Kranz, Gerry Griffin, Milt Windler and Sigurd Sjoberg.


The Apollo 13 Mission Operations Team (aka. Mission Control) was the flight control team responsible for all aspects of the Apollo 13 flight after it cleared the launch tower after liftoff from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida. It worked from the NASA Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston, Texas during the mission.[1]Their successful efforts in guiding the flight safely back to Earth were met with the award (along with the flight crew) of the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Richard M. Nixon, on April 18, 1970, the day after the successful re-entry and splashdown of the spacecraft.[2]

Because the Medal of Freedom was presented as a group award, the members of the Apollo 13 team have the distinction of being the only individuals ever presented with the honor without being given the actual medal itself. The Apollo 13 Mission Operations Team's work was chronicled in several books, documentaries, and feature films. In the movie Apollo 13, Ed Harris portrayed NASA Flight Director Gene Krantz.

Medal of Freedom Recipients from Apollo 13 Mission Operations Team Members[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. Atkinson, Nancy (5 May 2010). "13 Things That Saved Apollo 13, Part 13: The Mission Operations Team". Universe Today. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  2. "Behind the Scenes of Apollo 13". Richard Nixon Foundation. 11 April 2016. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Granath, Bob (2015-04-17). "Members of Apollo 13 Team Reflect on 'NASA's Finest Hour'". NASA. Retrieved 2019-07-01.


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