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James Hartsfield March 31, 1993

Release No. 93-024

FLIGHT CONTROL OF STS-56

Flight control for STS-56, the 16th voyage of Discovery, will follow the procedures and traditions common to U.S. manned space flights since 1965, when the Mission Control Center was first used.

Responsibility for conducting Shuttle operations will revert to the Mission Control Center (MCC) in Houston once Columbia's two solid rocket boosters ignite. Mission support in the MCC will begin five hours prior to launch and continue through landing.

The primary objective of STS-56 is for Discovery to provide a stable platform in orbit for observations and measurements of the Earth's upper atmosphere to be taken with the instruments of the Atmospheric Laboratory for Applications and Science (ATLAS-2) mounted in the cargo bay. ATLAS-2 observations and science operations will be overseen from the Payload Operation Control Center (POCC) at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

Orbiter operations will be conducted from Flight Control Room One (FCR-1) on the second floor of the MCC located in Bldg. 30 at the Johnson Space Center. The teams of flight controllers will alternate shifts in the control center and in nearby analysis and support facilities. The handover between each team takes about an hour and allows each flight controller to brief his or her replacement on developments during the previous two shifts.

The flight control teams for this mission will be referred to as the Ascent/Entry, Orbit 1, Orbit 2, and Orbit 3. The ascent phase will be conducted by Flight Director Jeff Bantle and the engry phase will be conducted by Rich Jackson. The Orbit 1 and Lead Flight Director for STS-56 will Chuck Shaw. The Orbit 2 Flight Director will be John Muratore and the Orbit 3 Flight Director will be Bob Castle.

Also attached is a Trajectory Sequence of Events for STS-56, outlining the planned trajectory for Discovery during its ascent to orbit.

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MCC POSITIONS AND CALL SIGNS FOR STS-56

The flight control positions in the MCC, and their responsibilities, are:

Flight Director (FLIGHT)

Has overall responsibility for the conduct of the mission.

Spacecraft Communicator (CAPCOM)

By tradition an astronaut; responsible for all voice contact with the flight crew.

Flight Activities Officer (FAO)

Responsible for procedures and crew timelines; provides expertise on flight documentation and checklists; prepares messages and maintains all teleprinter and/or Text and Graphics System traffic to the vehicle.

Integrated Communications Officer (INCO)

Responsible for all Orbiter data, voice and video communications systems; monitors the telemetry link between the vehicle and the ground; oversees the uplink command and control processes.

Flight Dynamics Officer (FDO)

Responsible for monitoring vehicle performance during the powered flight phase and assessing abort modes; calculating orbital maneuvers and resulting trajectories; and monitoring vehicle flight profile and energy levels during reentry.

Trajectory Officer (TRAJECTORY)

Also known as "TRAJ," this operator aids the FDO during dynamic flight phases and is responsible for maintaining the trajectory processors in the MCC and for trajectory inputs made to the Mission Operations Computer.

Guidance, Navigation & Control Systems Engineer (GNC)

Responsible for all inertial navigational systems hardware such as star trackers, radar altimeters and the inertial measurement units; monitors radio navigation and digital autopilot hardware systems.

Guidance & Procedures Officer (GPO)

Responsible for the onboard navigation software and for maintenance of the Orbiter's navigation state, known as the state vector. Also responsible for monitoring crew vehicle control during ascent, entry, or rendezvous.

Rendezvous Guidance and Procedures Officer (RENDEZVOUS)

The RENDEZVOUS GPO is specialist who monitors onboard navigation of the Orbiter during rendezvous and proximity operations.

Environmental Engineer & Consumables Manager (EECOM)

Responsible for all life support systems, cabin pressure, thermal control and supply and waste water management; manages consumables such as oxygen and hydrogen.

Electrical Generation and Illumination Officer (EGIL)

Responsible for power management, fuel cell operation, vehicle lighting and the master caution and warning system.

Payloads Officer (PAYLOADS)

Coordinates all payload activities; serves as principal interface with remote payload operations facilities.

Data Processing Systems Engineer (DPS)

Responsible for all onboard mass memory and data processing hardware; monitors primary and backup flight software systems; manages operating routines and multi-computer configurations.

Propulsion Engineer (PROP)

Manages the reaction control and orbital maneuvering thrusters during all phases of flight; monitors fuel usage and storage tank status; calculates optimal sequences for thruster firings.

Booster Systems Engineer (BOOSTER)

Monitors main engine and solid rocket booster performance during ascent phase.

Ground Controller (GC)

Coordinates operation of ground stations and other elements of worldwide space tracking and data network; responsible for MCC computer support and displays.

Maintenance, Mechanical, Arm & Crew Systems (MMACS)

Formerly known as RMU; responsible for remote manipulator system; monitors auxilliary power units and hydraulic systems; manages payload bay and vent door operations.

Extravehicular Activities (EVA)

A specialist responsible for monitoring and coordinating preparations for and execution of space walks. Responsibilities include monitoring suit and EVA hardware performance.

Payload Data & Retrieval System (PDRS)

A specialist responsible for monitoring and coordinating the operation of the remote manipulator system.

Flight Surgeon (SURGEON)

Monitors health of flight crew; provides procedures and guidance on all health-related matters.

Public Affairs Officer (PAO)

Provides real-time explanation of mission events during all phases of flight.

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