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Mission Control
Answers Your Questions

From: Richard White II, of Reading, Pa.
To: Kelly Beck, flight director


Question: Gene Kranz's book, "Failure is not an Option", mentions that during the Gemini/Apollo era of MCC, each flight controller picked a color to identify his (or her) team by. Gene's color was white. Is this still common practice? Are retired colors re-used, such as white? Thanks!

Answer: Yes, it is still common practice for a flight director to pick a team name. However, once a name is selected, no other flight director can use that team name. Over the years, most of the colors have been taken, so team names have changed to more then just colors. For example, names of gemstones, stars or constellations are common selections. For STS-111, the team names are Sapphire, Intrepid and Atlas Flight.

Jerry P. Jason
STS-111, Planning MMACS


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Curator: Kim Dismukes | Responsible NASA Official: John Ira Petty | Updated: 06/09/2002
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