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- Operations plays a pivotal role in the success of any human spaceflight program. This paper will highlight some of the core tenets of spaceflight operations from a systems perspective and use several examples from the Space Shuttle Program to highlight where the success and safety of a mission can hinge upon the preparedness and competency of the operations team. Further, awareness of the types of operations scenarios and impacts that can arise during human crewed space missions can help inform design and mission planning decisions long before a vehicle gets into orbit. A strong operations team is crucial to the development of future programs; capturing the lessons learned from the successes and failures of a past program will allow for safer, more efficient, and better designed programs in the future. No matter how well a vehicle is designed and constructed, there are always unexpected events or failures that occur during space flight missions. Preparation, training, real-time execution, and troubleshooting are skills and values of the Mission Operations Directorate (MOD) flight controller; these operational standards have proven invaluable to the Space Shuttle Program. Understanding and mastery of these same skills will be required of any operations team as technology advances and new vehicles are developed. This paper will focus on individual Space Shuttle mission case studies where specific operational skills, techniques, and preparedness allowed for mission safety and success. It will detail the events leading up to the scenario or failure, how the operations team identified and dealt with the failure and its downstream impacts. The various options for real-time troubleshooting will be discussed along with the operations team final recommendation, execution, and outcome. Finally, the lessons learned will be summarized along with an explanation of how these lessons were used to improve the operational preparedness of future flight control teams.
- Document ID: 20110003646.
AIAA SPACE 2011 Conference and Exposition; 26-29 Sep. 2011; Long Beach, CA; United States.
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