Questions tagged [mission-control]

Questions regarding the people or procedures of the center that manages space missions.

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13
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1answer
2k views

What does 'Rocket is in self align' mean?

I've noticed during SpaceX streams (this could happen with other LSPs but I've only noticed it with SpaceX) that shortly after the vehicle goes to internal power the controller says "Vehicle is in ...
4
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1answer
116 views

Why did Kennedy have four control rooms but Houston had only two?

Kennedy Space Center has four firing control rooms, one for each bay in the Vehicle Assembly Building. After launch, authority was transferred to the mission control center in Houston. For the ...
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1answer
105 views

How are space launches controlled? Automatically, or from ground level?

In my perception, by predetermining speed, distance and other parameters including a rocket's thrust and mass, a trajectory could be calculated ahead of time. How have rockets actually followed the ...
7
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2answers
399 views

How has NASA's mission operations software architecture evolved?

As many of us know, the mission operations software of NASA has changed significantly over time. Needs have changed with the space program and mission operations software has adapted to keep up with ...
2
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1answer
76 views

What is/were the Soviet/Russian qualifications for a capsule communicator?

The person in mission control responsible for speaking to American crews is called the capsule communicator or CAPCOM. Historically this person has been another astronaut -- as they would have the ...
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4answers
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During the Space Shuttle Columbia Disaster of 2003, Why Did The Flight Director Say, “Lock the doors.”?

Why does the NASA Flight Director say, "Lock the doors.", when realizing that disaster had struck for Space Shuttle Columbia, back in 2003? Does he mean lock the doors on the space shuttle that's ...
5
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2answers
226 views

Apollo Mission Control Room 2, how do these decimal number displays work?

In a recent question there was a link to this arsTECHNICA page. One of the pictures of digital clock displays: How do these decimal number displays work? I guess there are assembleys of a mask with ...
4
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2answers
454 views

How do these Apollo mission control displays work?

In a recent question there's this image of a display in the restored Apollo Mission Operations Control Room 2: I always wondered, how do these displays work (the original ones from the 60s/70s, not ...
9
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2answers
800 views

Apollo Mission Operations Control Room 2 display, what do these numbers indicate?

There are some really beautiful photos in Ars Technica's NASA’s restored Apollo Mission Control is a slice of ’60s life, frozen in amber See also NYTimes' NASA Reopens Apollo Mission Control Room ...
3
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0answers
71 views

Where can I find Captain REFSMMAT?

One of the longer NASA acronyms is REFSMMAT (REFerence to a Stable Member MATrix) Ed Pavelka was one of the flight controllers who occupied the FIDO console at mission control. As a way to cement ...
7
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2answers
796 views

Why was Houston selected as the location for the Manned Spacecraft Center?

NASA's Manned Spacecraft Center in located in Houston, Texas. What were the site selection criteria, and what contenders were there other than Houston? The center is named for Lyndon B. Johnson. He ...
2
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2answers
290 views

What event determined the transfer of control from Kennedy Space Center to Houston?

Launches at Kennedy Space Center in Florida were managed by the on-site launch control center. At some point in the mission, authority was transferred to the mission control center in Houston, Texas. ...
5
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1answer
180 views

How did mission control work for the concurrent Gemini 6A and 7 missions?

Gemini 6A and 7 were two manned missions that together accomplished the first successful space rendezvous. As they were in space at the same time, Did they share the same mission control room, or ...
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2answers
127 views

Operator access to a cube satellite or any educational satellite

I would like to have free or low-cost access to an existing CubeSat (educational satellite) for educational purposes. I wish to familiarise myself with the end to end command & control activities, ...
2
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1answer
100 views

What are the top most used satellite control system, flight dynamics solution at the moment ? Approx costs?

I am looking for a list of top most used satellite control systems, flight dynamics solutions by space agencies, private companies etc. the moment? How much do they cost approx for use by 1 person? Is ...
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2answers
3k views

Were there any CAPCOMs who were not astronauts?

The capsule communicator (CAPCOM) is the person in mission control who speaks to the astronauts. The position was invented by NASA's first flight director, Chris Kraft, who believed it would be best ...
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0answers
120 views

CAPCOM Console at Mercury Control Center; what does “Desired Retrofire Setting” time display mean?

Wikipedia's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station page links to the image Alan Shepard in Mercury Control Center (shown below). The console has two large digital time displays. One is dedicated GMT but ...
3
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1answer
156 views

How closely can ground control monitor ISS astronauts?

How closely can ground control monitor astronauts aboard the ISS. Are there cameras or microphones that the ground can use to see and hear what's happening, or are they reliant on the crew to relay ...
14
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1answer
1k views

How does an array of concrete pillars protect a launch control bunker?

This answer explains that this regular grid of concrete posts at Baikonur LC-1 Gagarin's Start is designed to reduce damage to the launch control bunker beneath it in the event of a catastrophic ...
49
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1answer
2k views

How long is the ISS out of reach of all ground stations?

This is a followup to a recent question and answer discussing ground-based monitoring of the International Space Station, specifically in the context of an astronaut crew that is all asleep. How ...
6
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1answer
412 views

What does the ISS Mission control center do?

This related question asks about Mission Control's responsibilities during a hurricane. But there's a more general question underneath: what do the people in Mission Control do, what are their ...
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2answers
222 views

State of the art of satellite Attitude Determination and Control Systems

I know I might get an answer like "the sky is not the limit"... But considering the actual state of the art of modern satellites ADC systems. Haven't we reached a "maximum" yet? Or are there still a ...
16
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1answer
1k views

What are these enclosed regions on the Mission Control Center map?

Whilst watching NASA TV over the years, I've often seen the map on the wall of Mission Control:      "Main Screen in the ISS Mission Control Center", by AGeekMom, CC BY 2.0 In ...
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1answer
510 views

Dual Spin satellite control using momentum exchange

When the stability of dual spin satellite with rotor along z axis an additional equation for the relative motion between the rotor and satellite is added to Euler's equation. Similarly on introducing ...
7
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1answer
176 views

What are the mission control backup options on a satellite/space-craft?

So I'm going through Brian Harvey's "Rebirth of the Russian Space Program". At one point the book mentions the Russian Satellite control centre at Serphukov-15 was totalled by fire. The consequence ...
6
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1answer
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Finding rocket transfer function for rocket stabilization

I've been working on rocket stabilization for my graduation project similar to this video: Roll gyro stabilized rocket with automatic control system. I used a low cost MEMS sensor (MPU-6050) and was ...
21
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1answer
3k views

Do astronauts go on a random banter with mission control like in the film 'Gravity'?

In the film 'Gravity', astronauts can be seen having casual chat with mission control. Do astronauts do that in real life? Do they have any specific policy that states what can be communicated over ...
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0answers
115 views

What is the minimum team-size for mission control? [closed]

There happen to be several questions out here on DIY spacecraft/launch-systems ... so I figure this question should be the next that comes to mind Unless one happens to be on the craft, and well-...
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1answer
296 views

Does mission control track craft in an adjacent orbit on the Mercator?

shows the Mercator screen at the centre. I'm probably wrong about this (feel free to shoot me down) but the Mercator up there appears to render what look like 3 different orbit tracks. Why are there ...
5
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2answers
532 views

Oxygen for manned missions

What are some techniques/ways to provide enough oxygen for some manned mission that would last, say, years? edited I mean some arbitrary mission departing from earth to infinity and beyond... No ...
8
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1answer
131 views

Is there research on optimal control/command strategy/hierachy?

On manned-missions which take its participants further and further into space it will be quite difficult to have a control center on Earth as it takes longer an longer to communicate. It takes the ...
18
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1answer
2k views

Why is it that during reentry phase a capsule cannot communicate with mission control?

During reentry phase into the Earth's atmosphere the heat produced by air friction does not allow any communication with the surface. Why does the heat interfere with electronic frequencies and ...