Gene Kranz’s Vests

If you followed the mission of Apollo 13 in 1970 or saw the 1995 movie Apollo 13, you may have noticed that NASA Flight Director Gene Kranz (portrayed by Ed Harris in the movie) always wore a vest while working. The story behind the vest and what it signified can be found at Vintage Space.
Kranz was slightly anxious about his team — not that their youth or inexperience would be a detriment, but that they might feel inadequate. Just because they had been selected last didn’t mean they were the leftovers. To boost morale, Kranz as their leader wanted some insignia for his team to rally around. His wife, Marta, suggested a vest: Kranz loved the three-piece suits that were in style at the time, and she loved to sew. In 1962, she suggested she make him a white vest to wear at his console...

Kranz wore his first white vest on Gemini 4, and it was an immediate hit with his team. He also became lead flight controller during that mission. During the first shift, Kraft turned to Kranz, said “you’re in charge,” and walked out.

But that's only the beginning. Mrs. Kranz made many vests, in different colors, patterns, and fabrics, each for a different mission occasion. Link -via a comment at Metafilter

Newest 2
Newest 2 Comments

I was a bit confused when I first read this, in English (as opposed to American English) a vest is an item of underwear something worn under the shirt. I knew his wife made him different waistcoats but I was thinking "is this an investigation into his underwear? Do I want really to read this?"
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Login to comment.

Email This Post to a Friend
"Gene Kranz’s Vests"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.


Success! Your email has been sent!

close window

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

I agree
Learn More