Flight Control Center

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Flight Control Center


a center that directs both operationally and technically the entire set of operations and processes involved in spacecraft flight control.

Flight control is carried out by individuals assigned to consoles at the flight control center that are equipped with communications channels for the transmission of commands and programs and the exchange of information—for example, ballistic data or data obtained by telemetry—with cosmonauts, spacecraft, and coordination computer centers, as well as with ground-based, shipborne, and airborne instrumentation complexes. The consoles at the center include TV screens linked to cameras on the ground and in space and equipment for the visual display of received and transmitted information. Such equipment makes it possible to monitor the progress of a flight and the transmission and execution of commands and programs.

A flight control center may control the flight of a single spacecraft or the flights of several spacecraft. The need for the simultaneous control of many spacecraft of various types and intended for various purposes led to the establishment of specialized flight control centers for interplanetary, manned, and other spacecraft. The operation of such centers is coordinated by the planning and coordination services of ground control and instrumentation complexes.

The efficiently organized and coordinated operation of the Moscow Flight Control Center (USSR) and the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston (USA) contributed substantially to the successful accomplishment of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project.


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Secretary of Transportation Samuel Skinner, after visiting the hard-to-staff flight control centers, commented, "I think those jobs deserve that kind of compensation.