NASA control center named for Apollo launch director Rocco Petrone

The NASA control center from where engineers oversaw the launch of the first astronauts to walk on the moon now bears the name of one of its pioneering directors.

Agency officials gathered at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Tuesday (Feb. 22) to honor the late Rocco Petrone, who as director of launch operations led the countdowns to the first five crewed Apollo liftoffs, culminating in the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969. The naming of the Rocco A. Petrone Launch Control Center came as NASA prepares to resume launches to the moon under its new Artemis program.