162 – Shuttle Mission Control
Guest: Dan Adamo Host: Markus Voelter Shownoter: Bastian Hundt
In this episode we talk about mission control for the Space Shuttle. Our guest is Dan Adamo, a former flight dynamics officer (FDO) in the Mission Control Center. We cover the organization of mission control, the various roles, qualification and training, the specific tasks of the FDO as well as a little bit of history. Dan also relates many interesting episodes from his time “in the trench”.
This is the last episode in 2014. Nora and Markus wish you Merry Christmas, a few quiet days between the years and a good start into 2015. Stay tuned, there’s a lot of good stuff coming on this station :-)
Introduction of Dan Adamo00:03:12
Dan Adamo | NASA | Jet Propulsion Lab | Johnson Space Center | OT104 Space Flight Dynamics | Space Architecture | Jim Logan | OT034 Space Medicine and Telemedicine
Background of Dan Adamo00:06:10
Civil Service | Space Shuttle | Mission Control Center | STS-36 | STS-125 | Challenger disaster | Columbia disaster | Shuttle Mission Simulator
Mission Control Center General00:12:10
Flight Controller | Christopher C. Kraft Jr. Mission Control Center | INCO | Kennedy Space Center | Solid Rocket Boosters | Open Loop Controller | Space Rendezvous | Flight Director | Mission Operations Director | Space Shuttle Flight Rules (PDF) | Apollo 13 | Lunar Module | Apollo Fuel Cells | STS3XX Space Shuttle Rescue Mission | Communication loops between Flight Controllers, Control Centers and Space Shuttle Crew | CAPCOM | Spacelab | Payload Operations and Integration Center | Ground Controller
Technical Facilities for Flight Controllers00:31:00
Mainframe | FIDO | X Window System | Pneumatic Tubes in Mission Control Center | Orion | Apollo 13 Trajectory Reconstruction via State Transition Matrices | Shared Responsibilities of Flight Controllers and Space Shuttle Crew | Landing Gear | Autoland | Gemini | Trajectory | Orbital State Vector | The Spirit of Flight Controllers | Gene Kranz | "Failure Is Not An Option" on Amazon DE | "Failure Is Not An Option" on Amazon COM | Shuttle Remote Manipulator System
Further Positions in Mission Control00:58:30
Rendezvous (RNDZ) | Propulsion Engineer (PROP) | Guidance, Navigation, and Controls Systems Engineer (GNC) | Delta-v | Delta-v Budget | Orbiter Thermal Protection | Orbital Maneuvering System | Orbital inclination change | Mechanical, Maintenance, Arm, and Crew Systems (MMACS) | 3D-Printing | Emergency, Environmental, and Consumables Management (EECOM) | Electrical Generation and Integrated Lighting Systems Engineer (EGIL) | Data Processing System Engineer (DPS) | Flight Activities Officer (FAO)
Voice Communication between Flight Controllers01:14:00
Workdays in Mission Control01:20:30
Mission Control in Houston vs Launch Control in Florida01:23:25
Launch Control Center | STS-88 | International Space Station | Unity Module | Launch Window | Solid Rocket Boosters | Space Shuttle Main Engines | Space Shuttle External Tank | Main Engine Cut-Off (MECO) | Rocket Propellant | Orion Launch Abort System
Tasks of a Flight Dynamics Officer in Mission Control01:32:25
Newton's Second Law | Mass Budgeting | Gimbal | Center of Gravity (CG) | Propellant as Balast to adjust CG | Orbit | Coordinate System | Delta-v | Reaction Control System | Hubble Space Telescope | Debries Avoidance | Space Debries | Space Shuttle Abort Modes | Abort Region Determinator | Reusable Spacecrafts | Joint Underspeed Recovery | Tasks of a FDO when no Mission is going on | Launch postponement recovery | STS-101 | Flight Techniques Panel | Planning Shuttle Missions | Mission Specifique Flight Rules | STS-60
How to bevome a FDO02:09:30
Optical Engineering | Shuttle Mission Simulator | Hubble Space Telescope | Trajectory Officer (TRAJ) | Familiarization with the Tools
History and Future of Mission Control and the FDO-Position02:19:40
Apollo Mission Control World Map | Relative Motion Display | Orbit FDO Console Handbook | Influence of Orion/SLS on Mission Control | Huge Distances alters Operations Significantly | "Planetary Defense"
Thoughts about Omega-Tau in 201402:35:05
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Thank you Markus (and to your team) for another *superb* podcast!
I thoroughly enjoyed this 2 hours and 41 minutes of fascinating, free-flowing, fact-filled dialogue between yourself and Dan Adamo.
Once again you held my interest with a refreshingly elevated (yet never too elevated) level of technical interchange between yourself and your guest (Dan in this case). Another top quality, stimulating and thought-provoking podcast.
Thank you Colin :-)
Wie immer sehr interessant. Danke.
Another fascinating interview, Marcus.
It helped me to realise just what a hugely complex undertaking the shuttle program was. There were many, many things that I had never thought of before. For example, if there had to be a shuttle rescue mission and a double number of crew to return to Earth, the oxygen system couldn’t have handled them all gasping in surprise at once!! Who would have thought of that?!
Thank you Dan, for sharing your FDO experiences with us .
Many thanks Marcus for all the interesting podcasts you’ve produced this year. I can only guess at the amount of time you must invest in each one. I regret not being able to understand German so that I could enjoy them all.
May next year be a happier year for you than this one.
Rob Coates, Perth.
Thank you Rob, I appreciate your writing this :)
do you know Kerbal Space Program?
You take some parts, put a rocket together, light it up and hopefully it will fly into Orbit or to a moon or another planet.
A bit like “Orbiter”, but with your own, sometimes really strange Spacecraft.
Even NASA has noticed:
As a personal note, I wish you and me both a better 2015 :/
Yes, I’ve heard about the KSP. Good/More luck in 2015 :-)
Thank you for another fascinating episode and for all of the podcasts you have produced in 2014. All the best for 2015 and I look forward to more excellent podcasts.
Thanks Rick! All the best (and great flights :-)) for 2015 to you as well.
Another great episode. It covers a lot of topics but never feels rushed. The recent Harrier episode was great too. Thanks for all the work you put into your podcast.
Thx Mike :-)