Mission Control Center

Between 1962 and 1963, the design for the Integrated Mission Control Center (IMCC) in the Manned Spacecraft Center’s Building 30 was completed. It included an Administrative Wing and a Mission Operations Wing that were connected by a Lobby Wing. The Administrative Wing contained three floors of office space for the mission operations staff, as well as a “Mission Briefing and Observation Auditorium” on the first floor. The Missions Operations Wing included two Mission Operations Control Rooms (MOCRs), a Recovery Control Room, a Simulation Control Room, many Staff Support Rooms (SSRs) and various data and communications processing areas. In October 1962, IBM was selected to design the Ground Based Computing System that was soon to be called the Real Time Computer Complex (RTCC) for processing data from the spacecraft. In March 1963, the Philco-Ford received a contract to provide all other electronics equipment, such as the communications center, the flight simulator facilities, and the flight operations displays in the MOCRs.

In late 1962, work on the MCC’s foundation, structural steel frame, and roof frame was begun. The bids for the remaining structural work were opened on March 15, 1963. Construction of the facility was finished between June 1963 and November 1964. In April 1964, IBM’s RTCC was installed on the first floor of the Mission Operations Wing. On January 19, 1965, enough of Philco’s equipment including the MOCR 2 had been installed to allow a team of flight controllers to passively monitor the Gemini 2 mission. The MCC served as a back-up control center to the modified Mercury Control Center at the Cape Canaveral for the Gemini 3 mission launched on March 23, 1965. The Mission Control Center-Houston (MCC-H), as it was now called, officially took over all manned flight control operations with the launch of Gemini 4 on June 3, 1965.