The Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center (JSC) is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Manned Spacecraft Center, where human spaceflight training, research, and flight control are conducted. It was built and leased to NASA by Joseph L. Smith & Associates, Inc. It was renamed in honor of the late U.S. president and Texas native, Lyndon B. Johnson, by an act of the United States Senate on February 19, 1973.
It consists of a complex of 100 buildings constructed on 1,620 acres (660 hectares) in the Clear Lake Area of Houston, which acquired the official nickname "Space City" in 1967. The center is home to NASA's astronaut corps, and is responsible for training astronauts from both the U.S. and its international partners. It has become popularly known for its flight control function, identified as "Mission Control" and "Houston" during the Gemini, Apollo, Skylab, Apollo–Soyuz, and Space Shuttle program flights.
The Manned Spacecraft Center grew out of the Space Task Group (STG) headed by Robert Gilruth, formed soon after the creation of NASA to co-ordinate the US manned spaceflight program. The STG was based at the Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, but reported organizationally to the Goddard Space Flight Center just outside Washington, D.C. To meet the growing needs of the US human spaceflight program, plans began in 1961 to expand its staff to its own organization, and move it to a new facility. This was constructed in 1962 and 1963 on land donated by the Humble Oil company through Rice University, and officially opened its doors in September 1963. Today, JSC is one of ten major NASA field centers.