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White vest worn by Gene Kranz of NASA during Apollo 13 mission    Official Apollo 13 button worn by Gene Kranz on his famous white vest

Apollo 13 Vest and Button

Gene Kranz, a NASA flight controller who worked in Mission Control from Project Mercury through the end of the Apollo program, wore this vest and button during the Apollo 13 mission in April 1970.

To build teamwork within his White Team in Mission Control, Kranz wore a different suit vest, made by his wife Marta, for each mission. Some of the vests were embellished with embroidery or sequins. This one, his plainest, became the most famous. He wore it while his team worked tirelessly to bring the astronauts safely home after an explosion scuttled their lunar landing plans. Apollo 13 became known as NASA’s successful failure.

Gift of the Eugene F. Kranz Family