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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 of attention during manned space flights.

when it hums with activity 24 hours a day.

second floor and one on the third. Only the third floor FCR will be used for missions carrying Department of Defense payloads. Either FCR can be used for mission control, or they can be used simultaneously to control separate flights. At times, one team of flight controllers has conducted an actual flight in one FCR while a second team is going through a make-believe mission (simulation) for a future operation. With the planned facilities, it will be feasible to simultaneously support two actual flights and one simulated flight. Mission Control Center is a three-story building at Johnson Space Center (JSC). In it are some of the most sophisticated communication, computer, data reduction, and data display equipment available. During Space Shuttle flights, operations are supported by teams of engineers and technicians with a wide scope of specialized skills 24 hours daily. Mission Control is supported by an emergency power building which houses generators and air-conditioning equipment for use if regular power fails. In the event of some unforeseeable but catastrophic failure that prevents the Houston control center from continuing its support of the flight, an emergency facility at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, is activated. The emergency center is a stripped-down model of the one in Houston, incorporating just enough equipment to let the controllers support the flight to its conclusion. The key mission command and control position is the Flight Director, who conducts the overall mission and real-time decision-making. The Ascent/Entry Flight Director directs the ascent and entry portions of the flight. The On-orbit Flight Directors are responsible for the working phases of the mission. They share their duties with three flight directors working 8-hour shifts. Focal points of the Mission Control Center are the Flight Control Rooms (FCR). Here flight controllers get information from television-like screens on the consoles and rom projected displays that fill the wall at the front of the room. They provide working space for various operating groups of controll.ers. One FCR is on the The FCR's occupy only a small portion of the Mission Control Center. A cadre of support personnel are located in nearby staff support rooms where other data on the mission are monitored and analyzed in detail. Multipurpose Support Groups (MPSG) representing separate support disciplines perform planning and support functions. These groups are dedicated to multiple flights providing planning expertise for future flights, performing periodic support and systems checks on current flights, and responding quickly to any in-flight contingency. Operating in conjuction with the JSC Mission Control Center FCR's are Payload Operations Control Centers (POCC). Here the owners of Spacelab experiment payloads, or other scientific experiments carried in the cargo bay of the Orbiter can monitor and control their payloads. It is a command post, communications center, and data relay station for principal investigators, mission managers, and their support staffs who are headquartered there throughout a mission. All decisions about payload operations are made and transmitted to the Spacelab or Shuttle crew from this control center. Free-flying systems that are deployed, retrieved, or serviced in Earth orbit by the Orbiter are monitored by a POCCat the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Payloads with distant destinations, such as those exploring other planets, are controlled from the POCC at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California.

This layout of one of the Flight Control Rooms shows the visual display wall, the flight control consoles, and the FCR viewing room. Primary mission command and control positions are: (1) Booster Systems Engineer; Remote Manipulator System; Mechanical and Upper Stage Systems Officer; Extravehicular Activity Officer; (2) Mission Operation Director; (3) Flight Surgeon; (4) Director of Public Affairs; (S) Communication System Engineer; (6) Operation Integration Officer; (7) Flight Director; (8) Capsule Communicator; (9) Flight Activities Officer; (10) Data Processing Systems; (11) Payload Officer; (12) Electrical & Environmental Control Systems; (13) Ground Control; (14) Flight Dynamcs Officer; (1S) Trajectory Engineer; (16) Guidunce and Procedures Officer; (17) Guidance and Navigation Control Officer; Propulsion Officer.
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National Aeronaut"'s and Space Administration

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