The Coalition for Deep Space Exploration (Coalition) joins the nation in mourning the death of Dr. Christopher Columbus Kraft Jr., NASA’s first flight director who served during America’s first crewed spaceflight, orbital flight and spacewalk.
“It is with great fondness and deep appreciation that we recognize the life and mourn the passing of Christopher Columbus Kraft, Jr.,” said Dr. Mary Lynne Dittmar, president and CEO of the Coalition. “He led a team of young pioneers to places that no one had gone before and, in the process, inspired and united the people of the world. He defined mission control and the way we go about exploring space, today, and laying the foundation for many missions to come. He was a great leader, a great American and an Explorer for the ages. We can only try to follow in his giant footsteps as we focus, once again, on reaching out beyond our world.”