Gene Kranz Quotes

Eugene Francis "Gene" Kranz (born August 17, 1933) is an engineer, a retired NASA Flight Director and manager. Kranz served as a Flight Director, the successor to NASA founding Flight Director Chris Kraft, during the Gemini and Apollo programs, and is best known for his role in directing the successful Mission Control team efforts to save the crew of Apollo 13, which later became the subject story of a major motion picture of the same name, in which he was portrayed by actor Ed Harris, and serving as flight director during the first lunar landing of Apollo 11. He is also noted for his trademark close-cut flattop hairstyle, and the wearing of dapper "mission" vests (waistcoats), of different styles and materials made by his wife, Marta Kranz, during missions for which he acted as Flight Director.

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Gene Kranz


There is no such thing as good enough. You, your team, and your equipment must be the best. That is how you will win victories.

Gene Kranz


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To recognize that the greatest error is not to have tried and failed, but that in trying, we did not give it our best effort

Gene Kranz


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You can not operate in this room unless you believe that you are Superman, and whatever happens, you're capable of solving the problem.

Gene Kranz


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We've never lost an American in space, we're sure as hell not gonna lose one on my watch! Failure is not an option.

Gene Kranz


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“I always looked at it as something broader than just the Cold War. I looked at it as the spirit of our nation.”

Gene Kranz


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There is no achievement without risk.

Gene Kranz


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I think everyone, once in his life, should be given a ticker-tape parade.

Gene Kranz


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From this day forward, Flight Control will be known by two words: -Tough- and -Competent. - Tough means we are forever accountable for what we do or what we fail to do. We will never again compromise our responsibilities. Every time we walk into Mission Control we will know what we stand for. Competent means we will never take anything for granted. We will never be found short in our knowledge and in our skills.

Gene Kranz


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I don't care what anything was designed to do, I care about what it can do.

Gene Kranz


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Let's work the problem, people. Let's not make things worse by guessing.

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Mission Control will be perfect. When you leave this meeting today you will go to your office and the first thing you will do there is to write -Tough and Competent- on your blackboards. It will never be erased. Each day when you enter the room these words will remind you of the price paid by Grissom, White, and Chaffee. These words are the price of admission to the ranks of Mission Control.

Gene Kranz


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Spaceflight will never tolerate carelessness, incapacity, and neglect. Somewhere, somehow, we screwed up. It could have been in design, build, or test. Whatever it was, we should have caught it. We were too gung ho about the schedule and we locked out all of the problems we saw each day in our work. Every element of the program was in trouble and so were we. The simulators were not working, Mission Control was behind in virtually every area, and the flight and test procedures changed daily.

Gene Kranz


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We had risen to probably one of the greatest challenges in history, put a man on the moon in the decade. We'd created incredible technologies. But what was most important, we'd created the teams, what I call the human factor. People who were energized by a mission.

Gene Kranz


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Faliure is not an option.

Gene Kranz


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“The look on his face was something you see only a few times in your life, ... This horror grips you, becomes almost unimaginable in your ability to live with it. But that is our job, to live with the risk. This is the nature of people who hold lives in their hands.”

Gene Kranz


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