Eugene Kranz

National Aviation Hall of Fame enshrinee Eugene “Gene” Kranz had many different jobs throughout his time at NASA. After serving in the Air Force as a pilot, he responded to a NASA magazine advertisement seeking engineers for Project Mercury. Soon after, Kranz was assigned as the Procedures Officer for all the early Mercury missions. Shortly thereafter, he was named the Chief of the Flight Control Division, supporting the odd-numbered Apollo missions. Incidentally, finding himself to be a part of the two most crucial missions, Apollo 11 and Apollo 13. During the Apollo 13 mission, when an oxygen tank exploded, Kranz and his mission control team led the complex planning and procedures efforts that helped get the stranded astronauts safely back to Earth. Due to his composure under pressure, Kranz was promoted to Deputy Director of NASA Mission Operations and later the Director of NASA in 1983. Gene Kranz remains an active voice for space exploration and NASA.