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Gene Krantz
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Bureaucrat
    (August 17, 1933- )
    Born in Toledo, Ohio
    Engineer
    NASA Flight Director from Gemini 4 through Apollo 17 (1965-72)
    Director of Mission Operations (1983-94)
    Wrote the autobiography ‘Failure Is Not an Option’ (2000)
    Portrayed by Ed Harris in ‘Apollo 13’ (1995)
    Recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1970)
    He was a relentless taskmaster, earning the nickname ‘General Savage’ from subordinates.
    He is associated with the declaration ‘Failure is not an option’ so much that he used it as the title of his memoirs, but the phrase was actually coined by Bill Broyles, a screenwriter for ‘Apollo 13.’
    Furthermore, Broyles was paraphrasing a statement by Flight Controller Jerry Bostick (who had told Broyles, ‘When bad things happened, we just calmly laid out all the options and failure was not one of them’).
    He has been married to Marta Cadena for over 60 years.
    The vest that Marta sewed for him that he wore during the Apollo 13 mission is on display at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.
    He was a key player in getting the Apollo 13 crew back to Earth safely after an oxygen tank exploded and damaged the spacecraft.
    He epitomized NASA’s ‘can-do’ attitude in the Apollo days.
    In a Space Foundation survey, he was ranked as the second most popular space hero, behind only first man on the Moon Neil Armstrong (2010).

Credit: C. Fishel


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