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NASA Astronaut Gerald P. Carr

Hardin-Simmons University Library

Silent | 1960s

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  •  Carr worked on the development and testing of the Lunar Roving Vehicle 
  •  Serving in the United States Marine Corps from 1954 to 1975, Carr logged more than 8,000 flying hours 
  •  Carr served as the CAPCOM, or Capsule Communicator, for the Apollo 8 and Apollo 12 missions. As such, he was the only person in Mission Control to directly communicate with the flight crew.  
  •  Practicing egress after splashdown 
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Produced by the Houston-based A-V Corporation for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, this silent government film focuses on astronaut Gerald P. Carr. Carr began his career with NASA in April 1966 when he was selected to join the fifth group of astronauts. In the following years, he served as a member of the astronaut support crews in Mission Control and helped to develop the Lunar Roving Vehicle. His first an only space mission was Skylab 4, the final manned mission to the Orbital Workshop. Carr logged 2,017 hours and 15 minutes in space, of which 15 hours and 51 minutes was spent in extravehicular activity. He retired from NASA in 1977.
As the scope of the American space program grew, NASA’s Space Task Group realized it would need to expand into its own facility if it were to successfully land a man on the Moon. In 1961, the agency’s selection team chose a 1,000-acre cow pasture in Houston, Texas, as the proposed center’s location site, owing to its access to water transport and commercial jet service, moderate climate, and proximity to Rice University. In September 1963, the facility opened as the Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC). 
The Center became the focal point of NASA’s manned spaceflight program, developing spacecraft for Projects Gemini and Apollo, selecting and training astronauts, and operating the Lunar Receiving Laboratory. Beginning with Gemini 4 in June 1965, MSC’s Mission Control Center also took over flight control duties from the Mercury Control Center at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. As a result, the facility managed all subsequent manned space missions, including those related to Projects Gemini and Apollo, the Apollo Applications Program, the Space Shuttle Orbiters, and the International Space Station.
In 1973, the MSC was renamed in honor of the late President and Texas native Lyndon B. Johnson. (As Senate Majority Leader, Johnson sponsored the 1958 legislation that established NASA.) The Center continues to lead NASA’s efforts in space exploration, training both American and international astronauts, managing missions to and from the International Space Station, and operating scientific and medical research programs.