You know him, or should,
even if you’re far too young
to remember the way news
broadcasters intoned and enshrined his name
emphasizing as if a talisman, a link
to the past of sailing ships,
his middle name:
Christopher Columbus Kraft, Jr.
He invented Mission Control,
ground-based spaceflight control
and the role of Flight Director
as the person orchestrating each flight.
When Ed White in his exuberance
at America’s first spacewalk
seemed reluctant to reenter the Gemini capsule,
Capcom Gus Grissom called,
“The Flight Director says get back in.”
That Flight Director, as for all
the Mercury and Gemini flights,
was Christopher Kraft.
And Ed White got back in.
Coincidence? Or something greater?
Chris Kraft, 95, died two days after
the 50th anniversary of the moon landing
he guided us to. And beyond.