Rob Navias May 30, 1995
FLIGHT CONTROL OF STS-70
Though their tools will be updated, NASA flight controllers will carry many of the traditions and procedures from 30 years of experience to a new Mission Control Center as portions of the STS-70 mission, the 21st flight of Discovery, are controlled for the first time from that facility.
As in the past, the responsibility for Shuttle operations will revert to Houston once Discovery's two solid rocket boosters ignite. Mission support in the control centers will begin 5 hours prior to launch and continue through landing.
The STS-70 ascent, deployment of the NASA's newest Tracking and Data Relay Satellite, and entry operations will be conducted from the old Flight Control Room. After the completion of the TDRS deploy, however, the flight control team will move to the new MCC in Bldg. 30 at the Johnson Space Center for the remaining on-orbit operations.
The new MCC's design offers an unprecedented flexibility in flight control operations, allowing the facility to be changed from controlling a Space Shuttle to controlling any other spacecraft with almost the speed of simply choosing a different function from a computer menu. The commercially available equipment and up-to-date technology used in the new MCC will greatly reduce maintenance costs for the facility as well.
Voice communications with the Orbiter will be standard, using the call signs "Houston" and "Discovery."
The teams of MCC 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 MCC flight control teams for this mission will be referred to as the Ascent/Entry Team, the Orbit 1 Team, Orbit 2 Team and the Planning Team. The Ascent/Entry Team will be led by Flight Director Rich Jackson. The Orbit 1 Team will be led by Flight Director John Shannon. The Orbit 2 shift will be conducted by Lead STS-70 Flight Director Rob Kelso. The Planning Team will be led by Flight Director Bryan Austin.
>MCC POSITIONS AND CALL SIGNS FOR STS-70The 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 a 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)
Monitors auxiliary power units and hydraulic systems; manages payload bay and vent door operations; handles in-flight maintenance planning; oversees orbiter structure, tiles, blankets, etc.
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 when applicable.
Payload Deployment & Retrieval Systems (PDRS)
A specialist responsible for monitoring and coordinating the operation of the remote manipulator system when it is carried aboard the Orbiter.
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.
STS-70 FLIGHT CONTROL TEAM STAFFING
||Mary Ann Plaza
||Matt Abbott (A)
Keith Fletcher (E)
||Doug Rask (A)
Lisa Shore (E)
||Ken Patterson (A)
Kelly Beck (E)
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