• Mayur Pawar

Do you know: People behind any spaceflight

Spaceflight controllers are personnel who aid space flight by working in such Mission Control Centers as NASA's Mission Control Center or ISRO's Mission Operations Complex or ESA's European Space Operations Centre. Spaceflight controllers work at computer consoles and use telemetry to monitor various technical aspects of a space mission in real-time. Each controller is an expert in a specific area and constantly communicates with additional experts in the "backroom". The flight director, who leads the flight controllers, monitors the activities of a team of flight controllers and has overall responsibility for success and safety. He has the right to go for launch or not. The Pre-launching sequence is quiet important in accordance with deciding the safety of the mission.

Flight Director

Flight Director leads the flight control team. Flight has overall operational responsibility for missions and payload operations and for all decisions regarding the safe, expedient flight. This person monitors the other flight controllers, remaining in constant verbal communication with them via intercom channels called "loops".

Flight operations directorate (FOD)

Flight operation directorate is a representative of the senior management chain and is there to help the flight director make those decisions that have no safety-of-flight consequences but may have cost or public perception consequences. The FOD cannot overrule the flight director during a mission.

Command and Data Handling (CDH)

CDH is responsible for monitoring the health and status of the spacecraft avionics systems including the onboard computers, display units, keyboards, onboard data bus, wireless networks, tablets, onboard software, data services for payloads and more.

Crew Systems Manager

The roles and responsibilities for CREW SYSTEMS include developing operations products supporting crew and cargo integration and being hardware experts for flight crew equipment that deal with crew escape, human habitability, productivity, and well-being. The docking system centerline camera and digital imagery experts from Photo/ TV group will be relied upon for direct mission support and training.

Flight Activities Officer (FAO)

FAO leads the coordination and integration of the crew activities, ground activities and attitude timeline into an integrated flight plan that meets the mission requirements defined by the program. *For missions to the International Space Station (ISS), the FAO also works with the ISS Operations Planner to integrate spacecraft vehicle operations and preparations into the station timeline during both the joint-mission timeframe and during quiescent operations.

Flight Dynamics Officer (FDO):

FDO is responsible for pre-mission planning and real-time execution of all spacecraft trajectory operations, including launch, undocking re-entry and landing.

Ground Control (GC)

The GC team is responsible for the ground systems infrastructure and ground communications necessary to perform planning, training, testing, execution and evaluation of human spaceflight mission operations.

Guidance, Navigation, and Control (GNC):

GNC manages guidance, navigation and control hardware, and associated software during all phases of flight, including GPS, attitude controllers, the Vision-based Electro-optical Sensor Tracking Assemblies (VESTAs) and more.

Integrated Communications Officer (INCO)

INCO is responsible for monitoring the health and status of the communications avionics including the Space-to-Ground (S/G) and Space-to-Space (S/S) systems, handheld radio communication, command encryption, audio systems and associated loose equipment functionality such as handheld microphones and headsets.

Mechanical and Power Officer (MPO)

MPO is responsible for the spacecraft electrical, mechanical, structural, and landing and recovery systems. These systems include batteries, solar arrays, power converters, interior lighting, vehicle structure, thermal protection, parachutes, airbags, crew hardware and more.

Navigation (NAV)

NAV is responsible for ensuring both the onboard and ground segments of the spacecraft navigation system is operating properly. NAV monitors the performance of the onboard navigation hardware and software, sensor status and performance, acceptability of sensor data, navigation convergence, VESTA performance and the VESTA Ground Station. NAV supports the GNC officer for issues related to relative and inertial navigation hardware, and for inertial navigation performance. NAV supports FDO for relative navigation performance monitoring and troubleshooting.


The Pointing console is responsible for the integration of all spacecraft Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) communication requirements, communication predictions and unique target lines-of-sight analysis for payloads and onboard systems. Pointing also provides attitude optimization to support unique pointing requirements, as needed.


The Profile console monitors the spacecraft relative trajectory and translational maneuvers to ensure performance within defined limits. Profile assists in monitoring the progress of crew and automated procedures related to rendezvous and proximity operations. Profile monitors vehicle compliance with applicable flight rules and provides to the Rendezvous position a go/no-go recommendation prior to Authority to Proceed (ATP) points. Profile maintains awareness of potential vehicle automated responses to failure conditions and the resulting abort trajectories.

Propulsion (PROP)

PROP is responsible for all aspects of the operation and management of the propulsion system hardware and software used during all phases of flight. This includes thruster performance and propellant usage, translation burns and attitude control maneuvers, and consumables budgeting, management and reporting.

Rendezvous (RNDZ)

The Rendezvous position monitors the spacecraft during integrated operations with the space station and ensures that all space station trajectory safety requirements are satisfied. Rendezvous is the primary interface to the space station Visiting Vehicle Officer (VVO) and monitors relative navigation, guidance, and trajectory performance in the proximity operations, docking, separation and fly around phases of flight.

Trajectory (TRAJ)

TRAJ tracks the spacecraft's position in orbit to support acquisitions, plotting, external notifications, conjunction screening, and debris conjunction message evaluation and notification. TRAJ coordinates trajectory planning and events with the mission planning team and is the primary member of the team responsible for running the spacecraft simulation to accomplish replanning and position update tasks.


The Weather officer provides weather forecasts and real-time weather observations for launch and landing operations to the mission management community, Flight Director, and flight control team. The Weather officer manages meteorological forecasting models and computer systems that access and assemble radar and satellite imagery and provides mission-critical inputs to the flight director for go-for-launch and go-for-deorbit decisions.

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