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Mission Control Center

Mission Control Center

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Published by Bob Andrepont
NASA brochure on the Mission Control Center.
NASA brochure on the Mission Control Center.

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Published by: Bob Andrepont on Nov 26, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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11/02/2012

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The Mission Control Center is the center ofattention during manned space flights.when it hums with activity 24 hours a day.
 
second floor and one on the third. Only the third floorFCR will be used for missions carrying Department ofDefense payloads.Either FCR can be used for mission control, or they canbe used simultaneously to control separate flights. Attimes, one team of flight controllers has conducted anactual flight in one FCR while a second team is goingthrough a make-believe mission (simulation) for a futureoperation. With the planned facilities, it will be feasible tosimultaneously support two actual flights and onesimulated flight.Mission Control Center is a three-story building atJohnson Space Center (JSC). In it are some of the mostsophisticated communication, computer, data reduction,and data display equipment available. During SpaceShuttle flights, operations are supported by teams ofengineers and technicians with a wide scope ofspecialized skills 24 hours daily. Mission Control issupported by an emergency power building which housesgenerators and air-conditioning equipment for use ifregular power fails.The FCR's occupy only a small portion of the MissionControl Center. A cadre of support personnel are locatedin nearby staff support rooms where other data on themission are monitored and analyzed in detail.Multipurpose Support Groups (MPSG) representingseparate support disciplines perform planning andsupport functions. These groups are dedicated to multipleflights providing planning expertise for future flights,performing periodic support and systems checks oncurrent flights, and responding quickly to any in-flightcontingency.Operating in conjuction with the JSC Mission ControlCenter FCR's are Payload Operations Control Centers(POCC). Here the owners of Spacelab experimentpayloads, or other scientific experiments carried in thecargo bay of the Orbiter can monitor and control theirpayloads. It is a command post, communications center,and data relay station for principal investigators, missionmanagers, and their support staffs who are headquarteredthere throughout a mission. All decisions about payloadoperations are made and transmitted to the Spacelab orShuttle crew from this control center.In the event of some unforeseeable but catastrophicfailure that prevents the Houston control center fromcontinuing its support of the flight, an emergency facilityat Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland,is activated. The emergency center is a stripped-downmodel of the one in Houston, incorporating just enoughequipment to let the controllers support the flight to itsconclusion. The key mission command and controlposition is the Flight Director, who conducts the overallmission and real-time decision-making. The Ascent/EntryFlight Director directs the ascent and entry portions of theflight. The On-orbit Flight Directors are responsible forthe working phases of the mission. They share theirduties with three flight directors working 8-hour shifts.Free-flying systems that are deployed, retrieved, orserviced in Earth orbit by the Orbiter are monitored by aPOCCat the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt,Maryland. Payloads with distant destinations, such asthose exploring other planets, are controlled from thePOCC at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena,California.Focal points of the Mission Control Center are the FlightControl Rooms (FCR). Here flight controllers getinformation from television-like screens on the consolesand rom projected displays that fill the wall at the front ofthe room. They provide working space for variousoperating groups of controll.ers. One FCR is on the

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