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Gene Kranz honored by National Air and Space Museum with lifetime achievement award

Last month, Kranz paid a visit to his hometown of Toledo as the city's airport was officially named in his honor.

TOLEDO, Ohio — Toledo's own Gene Kranz received high honors Wednesday from the National Air and Space Museum for all he accomplished over his long career in aerospace.

The museum presented Kranz with the 2021 Michael Collins Trophy for Lifetime Achievement. 

A post on Twitter made by the National Air and Space Museum read:

"This award honors Kranz’s incredible career in aerospace, beginning in the U.S. Air Force and culminating in a legendary career in NASA’s mission control."

Last month, Kranz paid a visit to his hometown of Toledo as the city's airport was officially named in his honor.

The aeronautics legend was born in 1933 and graduated from Central Catholic High School. Kranz even wrote his high school thesis on the potential of flying a rocket to the moon.

He then went on to become one of the original Project Mercury assistant flight directors for NASA in 1960.

However, he is likely best known for his work ensuring the safe return of the Apollo 13 crew. Kranz was the flight director for that mission. It launched on April 11, 1970, but just a few days later on April 14, the service module exploded.

Kranz was at the helm of the White Team, setting constraints for the consumption of spacecraft consumables and controlled three course-correction burns during the trans-Earth trajectory. 

He worked with NASA all the way up to his retirement in 1994.

   

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