NASA flight chief to be at Chamber

Serving Tang and ice cream made from liquid oxygen and using a spacesuit and 5-foot-high model rocket as a backdrop, Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce officials announced Tuesday that Gene Kranz will be the group's keynote speaker at its annual meeting Nov. 17.

Kranz was the lead flight director during the Apollo 13 mission, in which an explosion aboard the spacecraft left it disabled.

He was credited with leading the Mission Control teams that helped bring the Apollo 13 crew safely back.

Bryan Derreberry, chamber CEO, said at a news conference that the group chose Kranz largely because he marshaled a group of people to successfully accomplish a goal during a crisis.

He drew parallels between that crisis and the recession, noting that it was creativity and human ingenuity, not technology, that led to a successful end to the Apollo 13 mission.

"That's a real critical theme for our annual meeting," Derreberry said. "He has a fabulous story to tell how they all pulled together."

The chamber also used the news conference to unveil its redesigned Web site,

The new Web site was launched Tuesday.

Howerton and White redesigned the Chamber's site in a project that lasted nearly six months, said principle and co-creative director Nicole Howerton.

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