Paul Haney

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The Independent Online

Paul Haney, who died on 28 May aged 80, was known as Nasa's "voice of Mission Control" for his live televised reports during the early years of the space programme.

Haney became Nasa's information officer in 1958 and went on to manage information from the Gemini and Apollo flight programmes. He pioneered a real-time system of reporting events as they happened in the first manned flight programme, Project Mercury.

Haney was born in 1928 in Akron, Ohio, and earned a journalism degree from Kent State University in 1945. He served in the Navy for two years during the Korean War. He became the public affairs officer for the Office of Manned Space Flight in 1962 and moved to Houston to work in what became the Johnson Space Centre. During his time there, he worked in the Mission Control Centre.

Haney left Nasa in 1969 following the Apollo 9 mission, after becoming involved in a dispute at the Manned Spacecraft Centre between the engineers and astronauts, who wanted to maintain as much privacy as possible during flights, and the press. He came to in London, where he covered the moon landings for ITN: "I don't have the shape and face for this thing," he said of his new, on-screen role. "My face is like a Hallowe'en mask."

Partly thanks to Haney, ITN's coverage of the landing was a huge success, the independent network beating BBC in the ratings.