NASA Mourns Loss of Human Spaceflight Pioneer Christopher Kraft

Chris Kraft was NASA’s first flight director and the inventor of the mission control. (Credit: NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., who died July 22, 2019, created the concept of NASA’s Mission Control and developed its organization, operational procedures and culture, then made it a critical element of the success of the nation’s human spaceflight programs.

“America has truly lost a national treasure today with the passing of one of NASA’s earliest pioneers – flight director Chris Kraft,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a statement. “We send our deepest condolences to the Kraft family.


Chris Kraft: SLS too Expensive to Build, Operate

In the video above, NASA Deputy Associate Administrator Dan Dumbacher lays out the nominal launch schedule for the heavy-lift Space Launch System (SLS). There will be an unmanned test in 2017, followed by a test with a crew aboard four years later. SLS will then be launched every other year (2023, 2025, etc.). Dumbacher says that NASA is examining whether the system could be launched once a year.

In a separate interview with the Houston Chronicle, former NASA manned space flight director Chris Kraft says that SLS will never become a reliable human-rated booster even if the space agency can manage one launch per year.

Kraft also says that the costs of building and operating SLS, along with the low flight rate, will prevent NASA from actually doing anything in deep space.