Even before the first U. S. astronaut entered space in 1961, planning for a centralized facility to communicate with the spacecraft and monitor its performance had begun, for the most part the brainchild of Christopher C. Kraft, who became NASA’s first flight director. During John Glenn’s Mercury Friendship 7 flight in February 1962 (the first crewed orbital flight by the U. S. ), Kraft was overruled by NASA managers. He was vindicated by post-mission analysis, and implemented a rule that during the mission, the flight director’s word was absolute —to overrule him, NASA would have to fire him on the spot. Flight directors during Apollo had a one-sentence job description, “The flight director may take any actions necessary for crew safety and mission success. ”
In September 2015, a new study provided an important missing piece to the intriguing puzzle of how our Moon came to be the lovely object that we see today.
The astronomers found that larger craters, which excavated pits much deeper into the Moon's surface, only increased porosity in the underlying crust. This indicates that these deeper layers have not reached a steady state in porosity, and are not as fractured as the megaregolith.
Cassini is an unmanned spacecraft sent to the Saturn system. It is the fourth space probe to visit the ringed planet, as well as the first to enter orbit. It has been studying Saturn and its many moons since arriving there in 2004.