Apollo legends see Historic Mission Control unveiled

December 1st, 2018

It was an historic sight – living legends who worked on the Apollo program reunited for a major milestone — the unveiling of restored Historic Mission Control consoles used to send humans to the Moon. The newly restored units arrived in a return flight to Ellington Airport by way of NASA’s Super Guppy.

NASA’s Johnson Space Center and NASA’s Johnson Space Center are leading the restoration of Historic Mission Control and this marked a major milestone in the ongoing campaign to restore a National Historic Landmark before Apollo 11’s 50th anniversary.

Designed to carry oversized cargo, the Super Guppy airlifted the consoles from the Cosmosphere, a space museum in Hutchinson, Kan. Luminaries of the Apollo program — Will Davidson, Ed Fendell, Robert Grilli, Milt Heflin, Denny Holt, James Kelly, Thomas Loe, Glynn Lunney, Merlin Merritt, Bill Moon, Bill Reeves, and Milt Windler – saw the restored consoles for the first time under a hangar at Ellington Airport.

Joining them were JSC Director Mark Geyer, Space Center Houston CEO William T. Harris, plus JSC Apollo Mission Control Restoration Project Manager Jim Thornton and Director of Flight Operations Brian Kelly.

“We want to keep the legacy of the Apollo-era alive and preserve Historic Mission Control,” said Harris. “Thanks to the combined efforts of so many people, future generations can experience this iconic room exactly as it was when Neil Armstrong made his historic first steps on the Moon.”

Time had taken a toll on the Mission Operations Control Room, used during the Gemini, Apollo and Space Shuttle eras, and it was in acute need of restoration. Furnishings such as carpeting, tile, paperwork, coffee cups and ashtrays in the room are being collected and restored to recreate the appearance of an active Apollo era Mission Control room — how the area looked the moment the first Moon landing occurred on July 20, 1969.

Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1985, the control room celebrates human space exploration and inspires people from around the world who visit. Johnson Space Center, Space Center Houston and the City of Webster are working together to restore the room that made what seemed an inconceivable dream become a reality. Webster, a longtime supporter of Space Center Houston, gave a $3.5 million lead gift toward the $5 million restoration byThe Cosmosphere, which is restoring nearly two dozen consoles.

The restored Mission Control Room will be unveiled to the world in time for the Apollo 11 mission’s 50th anniversary and the City of Houston will host a month-long celebration, including a ribbon-cutting for the restored Mission Control room.

“On a Mission” campaign. Space Center Houston then led a 30-day funding campaign drawing more than 4,000 pledges from 15 countries including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Germany. The city of Webster matched the crowdfunding campaign gifts dollar-for-dollar up to $400,000 as a component of the lead gift. Current proceeds stand at approximately $4.5 million leaving $500,000 remaining to meet the $5 million On a Mission campaign goal.

Barrios Technology announces executive leadership changes

April 4th, 2016

Houston based Barrios Technology announces executive leadership changes at their corporate office and with their prime Johnson Space Center International Space Station Program Mission and Program Integration contract.  Pictured, from left, are Barrio CEO Sandy Johnson; Kelly Page, MAPI Mission Analysis and Integration Manager Barrios Technology; Mark Polansky, MAPI Program Manager Barrios Technology; and Robert McAfoos, President Barrios Technology.

Houston based Barrios Technology announces executive leadership changes at their corporate office and with their prime Johnson Space Center International Space Station Program Mission and Program Integration contract. Pictured, from left, are Barrio CEO Sandy Johnson; Kelly Page, MAPI Mission Analysis and Integration Manager Barrios Technology; Mark Polansky, MAPI Program Manager Barrios Technology; and Robert McAfoos, President Barrios Technology.

Houston based Barrios Technology has announced several executive leadership changes at its corporate office and with its prime contract with NASA’s Johnson Space Center.

Robert McAfoos is the new president of Barrios, effective April 1, overseeing the day-to-day operational aspects of the company, while owner Sandy Johnson will remain chief executive officer, setting the strategic focus and goals of the company and continuing to champion the Barrios vision, mission and company culture.

Mark Polansky will become Barrios’ International Space Station Program Mission and Program Integration (MAPI) program manager, leading the $40 + million annual contract providing critical mission integration products and services to the ISS Program. Kelly Page will lead the Mission Analysis and Integration (MA&I) organization for MAPI.

Johnson was part of the group who formed Barrios Technology in 1980 upon being awarded the JSC Flight Design Support Services contract. She became president and CEO of Barrios in 1993 when she purchased the company, returning Barrios to its roots as a woman-owned small business.

Barrios Technology grew from $10 to $70 million in annual revenue and has continually held prime government contracts — receiving numerous national recognitions, including twice earning NASA’s coveted George M. Low Quality award, under Johnson’s leadership.

McAfoos has served in leadership roles on Barrios’ largest contracts since 2001. He has managed prime contracts and subcontracts supporting JSC’s Mission Operations Directorate (Space Program Operations Contract), ISS Program Office (Mission Integration Contract), Crew Exploration Vehicle (Orion Project Integration Contract), and, most recently, MAPI. Over the past three years under McAfoos’ leadership, MAPI has become a flagship program for small businesses and the agency. McAfoos also successfully established Barrios’ business base in the Houston area oil and gas market.

Polansky joined the Barrios team in July of 2012 as the MA&I Manager for MAPI as well as leading Barrios’ business pursuits in the commercial space industry. Polansky’s experience as a Space Shuttle Commander was instrumental in bringing the right focus to mission applicable work on the MAPI contract. His mission success focus along with his relationship with the NASA ISS Program Office will be key to the contract’s continued success.

Page has been with Barrios supporting the ISS Program for 10 years and currently leads the MAPI ISS Program Services organization. Her leadership has been critical to successfully implementing streamlined processes and updated technology. She will bring her technical experience in the mission related organizations and her management experience in the program services organizations to integrate functionality where needed.

Barrios hopes to continue to bring together some of the most talented employees in the aerospace industry to a company tailored to support the evolution of space exploration.