48

This is indeed part of the procedure that is invoked when a contingency has occurred. It is part of Standard Operation Procedure 2.8 - JSC Contingency Plan, which can be found in the Shuttle Flight Control Operations Handbook (link to 538-page pdf - referenced here) on page 2.8-1. It provides the steps to be taken to secure all data for future investigations ...


29

In order to answer this question, I tracked down Michael Lammers who the Flight Director for the ISS and he kindly offered to speak to me on the phone about ISS communications. (He is also a super nice guy) He said that almost all of the ISS Command and Control, Voice Communications, as well as science downlink, goes through TDRS with the Ku-Band handling ...


28

Up until that point in time, ground control has been regularly telling the vehicle where it is in inertial space relative to the center of the Earth, and in which direction it is pointing in inertial space. "Vehicle is in self align(ment)" represents a mode change where the launch vehicle's flight software begins to use the vehicle's onboard navigation ...


26

If you listen to live (or recorded) ISS to ground conversations you will find that the astronauts are human, and have perfectly normal conversations when not specifically running through mission checklists etc. These conversations include banter, birthday wishes, conversations about the weather (yep - seriously) and any manner of normal topics. I couldn't ...


25

Does he mean lock the doors in the NASA building, in order to begin some internal investigation, and nobody is allowed to leave, as a matter of policy? Yes, this. It's part of a standard procedure to ensure evidence is preserved for the investigation. It's to prevent people entering as well as leaving.


24

The three big areas (light blue, green, yellow) outside of what looks like the enclosed area on the equirectangular projection are geosynchronous satellite TDRSS (Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System) coverage areas for S Band communications *, Smaller yellow areas over Russia are ground-based tracking and data relay stations, The white area in South ...


22

Heat doesn't. The intense heat does, however, strip off electrons from molecules in the upper atmosphere, leaving an electrically charged plasma. This plasma interferes with radio communications to such an extent there is a complete radio blackout until the capsule has decelerated to such an extent plasma is no longer formed - this can take 30 seconds or ...


21

Yes, from 2011 up till now and in the foreseeable future. With the shrinking astronaut corps after the end of Shuttle and the 24/7/365 nature of ISS operations, it became impossible to completely cover the CapCom job with crewmembers. Mission Flight Operations Directorate personnel fill in now. The first non-astronaut CapCom was Ginger Kerrick. ...


18

In at least the early part of the Gemini program, the ground-side network still wasn't able to relay all ground stations to a central control center, so multiple sites still needed CAPCOMs, and not all of those CAPCOMs were astronaut-trained. In addition, the Gemini program featured longer-duration flights than those of Mercury, beginning with the second ...


17

The citation you give is correct, albeit a bit misleading. If a rocket fails so soon after launch that it strikes any of the structure on and around the launch pad, the result is in any case a huge explosion resulting in the complete loss of the vehicle. You can get an impression on how it looks like by the crash tests done by SpaceX in the past years ...


14

First things first: Lyndon Johnson had very little, if anything, to do with the site selection for what was then called the Manned Space Center. The selection of the current location of what is now known as the Johnson Space Center was made in September 1961, over two years before President Kennedy was assassinated. It was a very common ploy in those days ...


12

Yes, Hubble is actively controlled from the ground. See this NASA page on Hubble Mission Operations Examples include monitoring and adjusting the spacecraft’s subsystems (e.g., power, thermal, data management, pointing control, etc.), flight software development, sustaining engineering of the control center hardware and software, and systems ...


10

They mark the candidate landing sites for the mission. According to Wikipedia, five sites were considered for the first moon landing: Sites 1 and 2 were in the Sea of Tranquility (Mare Tranquilitatis); Site 3 was in the Central Bay (Sinus Medii); and Sites 4 and 5 were in the Ocean of Storms (Oceanus Procellarum). Sinus Medii is a 287km diameter mare ...


9

They didn't have two functioning control rooms, so swapped off using the control room for the vehicle that was most active at the time, and used the distributed Mercury-style control for the less active vehicle, swapping back as required. The men in John Hodge's Flight Control Division found it "a hell of a great challenge and to a man they wanted to ...


9

The biggest single change in the Houston Mission Control Center (MCC) occurred in the late 1990s. This was the change from a mainframe based system architecture to a workstation based system with a client/server architecture. The project was led by John Muratore and it's discussed at some length in his oral history. Several of the papers in the Control ...


8

While the Mission Control Center's (MCC) Real Time Computer Complex (RTCC) was designed, as the name says, to receive and process data to the consoles in real time, it also recorded the voice and telemetry data ("logging"). "Delogging" was the the process of going back into the recorded data and extracting desired parameters for a ...


7

The ISS is controlled from Flight Control Room 1 of the ISS Mission Control Center, located at NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX. Here's a layout of the room with the positions of each person/team: The yellow positions are manned 24/7: Flight Director: Flight has overall operational responsibility for missions and payload operations and for all ...


7

I'm not sure about this precise type of display (*), but there are ones very similar and that exactly match your description: Ten individual light bulbs, ten lenses and a mask with cut-outs for each digit. They were called "in-line displays" or "projection displays" and became popular around 1960, before they vanished in favor of LED-based 7-segment ...


7

As Russell Borogove wrote, scribing projector displays were used. The displayed image was generated with three different types of projectors in parallel. The light from all these projectors was added on the screen. One background projector displayed the static slide with the Earth or Moon map. Another projector to display the moving symbol for the ...


7

The short answer to your question is GNC (Guidance, Navigation & Control). Mission planning is done based on nominal (normal) performance of all systems launched through a mean atmosphere for the time of year when launch will take place. Depending on how many prior flights have taken place and how much data is available to model a specific vehicle launch ...


6

For Space Shuttle: In the flight software, "tower clear" was defined as the end of the vertical rise phase when it was OK to start the Single Axis Rotation (aka "roll program"). This happened when the vehicle center of mass was at 376 feet above the Fischer Ellipsoid. Source - Ascent Nominal I-Loads Definition and Verification (not online) However, "...


6

Providing sufficient oxygen for a long journey is not the challenge. If you have enough to meet the demands for a week, you have enough to meet the demands forever. Oxygen is not destroyed or created in respiration Animals (people) take in oxygen where there are two atoms joined together and exhale Carbon Dioxide where there are is a carbon between the two ...


6

While this is much granier than the BBC snippet, it does contain the audio overlay and is the same video the BBC clip has, but contains the full event cycle. "Lock the doors" happens around 12:24 Key parts of the full audio (time in the video first) 13:41 - OK all flight controllers on the Flight [Director] loop, we need ...


5

As @David said, those are the current and the two next orbits of the same spacecraft. On this photo you can see the ISS superimposed on one of the orbits, and the orbit numbers (4, 5, 6) to the left. As @Gerrit said, if the spacecraft isn't doing any maneuvering, the next orbit can be predicted with 100% accuracy. The only information you need is the orbit'...


5

Satellite control systems are usually created ad-hoc or based on existing in-house systems. For example, ESA reuses its own SCOS-2000 infrastructure. In Europe, there are many companies that develop SCS like SSTL, GMV, SCISYS, DEIMOS, TERMA, and many more. There are also some open source systems like Cosmos and yamcs. In all the cases, you will have to ...


5

They needed the money. Sometimes it seemed the Russian space program would do almost anything to raise money..... (the book goes on to describe renting out the TsUP's lobby to a Czech lighting-fixture company, flying a Japanese journalist to Mir for cash, charging fees for interviews with program management, etc) The Russians were especially adept ...


5

I asked my friend and former shuttle FDO Roger Balettie about this, he kindly gave me permission to quote him ..those are "Eidophor" displays - similar in nature to the much larger versions back in the Bat Cave behind the 10x10 and 10x20 front displays. They were used early on in the Shuttle Program for the FDOs to have clear overlays to put onto ...


4

The ISS internal video cameras are simply Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) camcorders. They interface with the video distribution system by plugging into Internal Camcorder Ports located throughout the pressurized modules. These ports communicate with Common Video Interface Units (CVIUs) which in turn communicate with Video Switching Units (VSUs). 3.3.3.4....


4

Sure. Just replicate the ecosystems of the Earth and the power source of the Sun sufficiently to provide a closed cycle. The Earth and Sun are such a spaceship. You can buy such closed systems (Sun not included) with plants, animals and bacteria. They are called "ecospheres". They work thusly: If you really want something "indefinite", biological ...


4

By default Houston Centre is mission control for the ISS. Yet control may be transferred to Moscow in case Houston centre is not available. Houston JSC ISS MCC -- MCC-H has control for the US segment only. Roskosmos TsNIIMASH -- MCC-M has control for the Russian segment. They are interlocked. Many ISS control systems are in the Russian segment, ...


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