51 votes

During the Space Shuttle Columbia Disaster of 2003, Why Did The Flight Director Say, "Lock the doors."?

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 ...
Ludo's user avatar
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45 votes
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How much technical information is given to astronauts on a spaceflight? How much of it is left to the control center?

At least for shuttle, the MCC had a lot more detailed information than the crew does. The crew was only provided with the information necessary for situational awareness and procedure execution. The ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
36 votes

Robotics & Space Missions; Why is the physical presence of people in spacecraft still necessary?

Between them, Spirit and Opportunity spent the equivalent of 22 years performing geology fieldwork on Mars. In that time, they managed a scientific output comparable to what a single geology grad ...
Mark's user avatar
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35 votes

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

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 ...
Mark Omo's user avatar
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32 votes

Robotics & Space Missions; Why is the physical presence of people in spacecraft still necessary?

One of the most important reasons is that robots don't make great interview partners. A significant part of space missions is outreach and inspiring people. Another important part is giving people a ...
Jörg W Mittag's user avatar
30 votes

How much technical information is given to astronauts on a spaceflight? How much of it is left to the control center?

I supported several visiting-vehicle-to-ISS rendezvous from the Mission Evaluation Room (MER) that Organic Marble mentions in his answer (supporting RPOP), and was involved in some of the procedures ...
Erin Anne's user avatar
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28 votes
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What does 'Rocket is in self align' mean?

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 ...
David Hammen's user avatar
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27 votes

During the Space Shuttle Columbia Disaster of 2003, Why Did The Flight Director Say, "Lock the doors."?

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 ...
pericynthion's user avatar
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23 votes
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Which type of map projection is most commonly used in control rooms?

Equirectangular. Note that in all of the images that uhoh linked (a b c), the grid squares on the map are the same size and shape at all points on the map. Here's an example from this question, ...
Starfish Prime's user avatar
22 votes

Were there any CAPCOMs who were not astronauts?

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 ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
18 votes
Accepted

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

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 ...
David Hammen's user avatar
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18 votes
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Were there any CAPCOMs who were not astronauts?

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 ...
Russell Borogove's user avatar
18 votes

How are the "lucky JPL peanuts" shared post-pandemic?

People received individual packages of peanuts and could sneak one under their mask. This page shows people holding individual packages of peanuts. And this video explains the procedure briefly.
Wyck's user avatar
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17 votes
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How does an array of concrete pillars protect a launch control bunker?

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 ...
asdfex's user avatar
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12 votes
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Is it possible to control the operation of the Hubble Space Telescope from ground stations?

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, ...
Polygnome's user avatar
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10 votes

How has NASA's mission operations software architecture evolved?

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 ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
10 votes
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Apollo Mission Operations Control Room 2 display, what do these numbers indicate?

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 ...
Russell Borogove's user avatar
9 votes
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How did mission control work for the concurrent Gemini 6A and 7 missions?

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 ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
8 votes
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Apollo Mission Control Room 2, how do these decimal number displays work?

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 ...
asdfex's user avatar
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8 votes

During the Space Shuttle Columbia Disaster of 2003, Why Did The Flight Director Say, "Lock the doors."?

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 ...
Machavity's user avatar
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8 votes

How has NASA's mission operations software architecture evolved?

I had the distinct honor of working for John Muratore on two distinct projects. One was the X-38. But before that, I worked on developing advanced software for his Real Time Data System project. The ...
David Hammen's user avatar
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8 votes
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What's a "delog"?

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 ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
7 votes

How do control space launch vehicles ? Automotivelly (inbuilt commands) or from ground level?

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 ...
David C. Rankin's user avatar
7 votes
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What does the ISS Mission control center do?

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/...
Hobbes's user avatar
  • 128k
7 votes
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How do these Apollo mission control displays work?

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 ...
Uwe's user avatar
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7 votes

Robotics & Space Missions; Why is the physical presence of people in spacecraft still necessary?

Why is the physical presence of people in spacecraft still necessary? Because robotics and AI aren't so developed as to totally replace humans (who are very versatile). Having said that, there are ...
RonJohn's user avatar
  • 1,102
6 votes
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What event determined the transfer of control from Kennedy Space Center to Houston?

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 ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
6 votes

Why are there advertisements in the Russian ISS flight control room?

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-...
Organic Marble's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

What are the round screens show in the MOCR near position 19 (FDO?) during STS-49?

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 ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
6 votes

Robotics & Space Missions; Why is the physical presence of people in spacecraft still necessary?

Necessity Why is anything "necessary"? Who gets to define that? The biological imperative, if you will, is to survive, reproduce, and exploit every niche. Look all over the planet, and ...
Lawnmower Man's user avatar

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