The fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing is rapidly approaching, and NASA is determined to mark it in a fitting way: by restoring the hub of Apollo's operations to its former glory. The agency has reopened Apollo mission control at the Johnson Space Center after a restoration that makes it look like it did in 1969. There's functioning electronics, familiar furniture and other attentions to detail. The New York Times noted that there are even period-appropriate soft drink cans and cigarettes.
The restoration team went out of its way to source authentic material, whether it was wallpaper from the Johnson Space Center or material sourced from eBay.
Thankfully, you're not limited to gazing from afar. Public tours of Apollo mission control will start on July 1st, 19 days before the Moon landing milestone. There's certainly a promotional angle here -- this is a reminder that NASA has been tasked with returning humans to the Moon by 2024, and that half a century has elapsed since people set foot on the celestial body. Still, this is bound to be valuable for anyone interested in a vivid reminder of space history -- it might be as close as you get without visiting the Moon yourself.
Today we reopened the Apollo Mission Control Center @NASA_Johnson after restoring it to appear as it did in 1969. We are building the #Artemis program on the legacy and success of Apollo. What a historic day! pic.twitter.com/CBXeQrYULi
— Jim Bridenstine (@JimBridenstine) June 28, 2019
As they stepped foot on the Moon, @NASA_Astronauts called this room to report their success. Like a moment in time, the Apollo Mission Control Center has been restored to appear as it did in 1969, just in time to celebrate the #Apollo50th anniversaries. https://t.co/lUs2wQFOid pic.twitter.com/kJy6fVeZns
— Johnson Space Center (@NASA_Johnson) June 28, 2019