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James Hartsfield July 13, 1993

Release No. 93-054


Flight control for STS-51, the 17th 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 Discovery's two solid rocket boosters ignite. Mission support in the MCC will begin five hours prior to launch and continue through landing.

The primary objectives of STS-51 are to deploy the Advanced Communications Technology Satellite (ACTS), a satellite hoped to pave the way for new communications technologies that could one day result in dinner-plate sized satellite receiving dishes and satellite phone service from any location on Earth, and the deploy and retrieval of the Orbiting and Retrievable Far and Extreme Ultraviolet Spectrometer (ORFEUS) mounted on a Shuttle Pallet Satellite (SPAS), a telescope that will study the universe in the ultraviolet wavelengths of light.. While all shuttle operations will be controlled by Mission Control, operations of the ORFEUS telescope and the SPAS will be controlled from the SPAS Operations Control Center (SPOCC) at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida.

Orbiter operations will be conducted from Flight Control Room Two (FCR-2) on the third 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 Planning teams. The Ascent and Entry teams will be led by Flight Director Rich Jackson. The Orbit 1 shift will be conducted by lead Flight Director for STS-51 Bob Castle. The Orbit 2 team will be directed by Flight Director Rob Kelso, and the Planning team will be led by Flight Director Wayne Hale.



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 Deployment & Retrieval Systems (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.


FLIGHT Rich Jackson Bob Castle (lead) Rob Kelso Wayne Hale
CAPCOM Kevin Chilton (A)

Curtis Brown (E)

Jay Apt Greg Harbaugh Susan Helms

Nancy Sherlock

PAO Kyle Herring Kyle Herring James Hartsfield John Ira Petty
FAO Neil Woodbury Neil Woodbury Ann Bowersox Diane Hord
INCO Richard LaBrode Joseph Faneli Harry Black F. MacFarlane
FDO Matt Abbott (A)

Carson Sparks (E)

Phillip Burley Roger Balettie Dan Adamo
TRAJ Bruce Hilty (A)

Deborah Kessler (E)

Lisa Shore Bill Tracy Mark Riggio
GPO Ken Patterson (A)

Dennis Bentley (E)

Mark Thomas


Todd Miller


Bill Ober


GNC Stan Schaeffer Stan Schaeffer Jeff Davis David Gruber
EECOM Dan Molina Dan Molina Leonard Riche Jimmy Spivey
EGIL Robert Armstrong Robert Armstrong Larry Minter David Randall
PAYLOADS Tim Baum Tim Baum Yvette Shannon Gene Cook
DPS K.C. Terry K.C. Terry James Hill Clyde Sherman
PROP Carlyle Lowe Carlyle Lowe Larry Schmitt Thomas Lazo
BOOSTER Jon Reding N/A N/A Teri Stowe
GC Chuck Capps

John Snyder

John Wells

Frank Solarski

Ed Kline

Melissa Blizzard

Johnnie Brothers

Al Davis

MMACS Kevin McLuney Kevin McLuney Karl Pohl Ladessa Hicks
EVA Gerry Miller Gerry Miller Tom Doeling Robert Adams
PDRS N/A David Moyer Gary Pollock Al Lee
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