Gene Kranz
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Biography for
Gene Kranz (Character)
from Apollo 13 (1995)

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Gene Kranz is a NASA Flight Director (basically, he runs the mission from the ground and gives instructions to the flight controllers at Mission Control in Houston). He's based on real-life Flight Director Eugene F. Kranz, who worked at NASA from 1961 to 1994. He has a short military-style haircut, stands up very straight, and is a commanding presence in the Mission Control room. He is known for wearing a white vest with the current mission's insignia on it when he's at work. Other flight controllers have joked that they won't be ready to start the mission until the vest is delivered to him.

Kranz is best known for overseeing the Apollo 11 moon landing (the first landing ever) and helping the Apollo 13 crew get home safely after an onboard explosion. He is a good person to have in charge during a crisis because he can make fast decisions in high-pressure situations. He is also skilled at getting frantic or argumentative co-workers to calm down and focus on the task at hand. During the Apollo 13 mission, he famously said, "We've never lost an American in space and we're sure as hell not gonna lose one on my watch! Failure is not an option!"

Kranz is known to smoke heavily and use occasional profane language, especially when things are not going well with a mission. These are traits he shares with many of his fellow flight controllers. He can also be tempermental; during the Apollo 13 crisis, he yelled at the NASA Director because the President wanted odds on whether the crew would survive. As far as Kranz was concerned, the crew was going to survive and he didn't want to discuss odds. He also got angry because a procedure wasn't finished when he wanted it.

Kranz is generally a tough character, but he has an emotional side as well. He was visibly choked up after the Apollo 11 moon landing, and when the Apollo 13 crew finally splashed down in the Pacific Ocean after the ordeal, he fell into a chair and fought back tears as everyone applauded around him. He's dedicated to NASA and cares deeply about his work.

Page last updated by lseybold-2, 8 years ago
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