Voice of Apollo Jack King dies

King, the NASA public affairs official who counted down the historic launch of Apollo 11 on July 16, 1969, died Thursday, June 11, 2015.

“Jack helped establish the original systems to ensure the news media received timely and accurate information about both the early human flight programs and the unmanned missions”, Harris said. Mr. King died after a lengthy illness at a hospice facility not far from Kennedy Space Center.

NASA solemnly announced the death of ex- Kennedy Space Center chief of public information Jack King on Thursday. He was 84.

It is estimated that more than a billion people listened to his commentary during the Apollo 11 launch.

The cause was congestive heart failure, his daughter, Beth King Post, also of Cocoa Beach, confirmed.

‘Lift off, we have a lift-off’, he said as the rocket soared into space with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on-board.

In the late 1950s, he ran The Associated Press office in Cape Canaveral.

“Right before when he says ‘all engines running, ‘ there was sort of a catch there, and you had a feeling he was thinking ‘this is really going to go!’ Harris said”. He described countdown events as millions around the world watched the liftoff of the Saturn V rocket that carried the Apollo 11 astronauts to the moon.

“The biggest PR job I had to do was with our own people in order to get information that I could pass out to the news media”, King said during an interview in 2002. He had no script and stuck to the bare facts, he said in 2009.

“All of United States watching on television won’t ever forget his calm, reassuring demeanor”, Cabana said in a statement.

He went to Washington in 1975 to direct public relations for the U.S. Energy Research and Development Administration.

King left government service in 1977 to work for Dr. Armand Hammer, chairman of Occidental global Corp. for whom he developed and implemented a wide-ranging public relations program.

But in 1996, King chose to keep working and joined United Space Alliance, a partnership between Lockheed Martin and Boeing that was responsible for processing space shuttles for launch. He retired in 2010. But upon arriving, King collapsed and was taken to the hospital.

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