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Mission Control
Answers Your Questions

From: Syed Idros, of Johor Bahru, Malaysia
To: Sally Davis, flight director for the orbit 2 team

Question: To all the MCC crews, do you work around the clock? Do the MCC crews consist of teams only from the Russian government or American government or both of them?

Answer: Syed: There are 2 primary control centers, MCC-M in Moscow, Russia, and MCC-H in Houston, Texas, United States. The ISS consists of a Russian Orbital Segment (ROS), and a U.S. Orbital Segment (USOS). The majority of the ROS is controlled from MCC-M, and the USOS is controlled from MCC-H. MCC-M is generally staffed by Russians, and MCC-H is generally staffed by Americans. There are data and voice links for direct communication between the control centers. Additionally, there is overlap in both control center manning and vehicle segment control.

Support groups work in each center. There is a Houston Support Group that works in MCC-M, and a Russian Support Group that works in MCC-H. These groups provide a working-level interface between the different control centers.

At all times, MCC-M and MCC-H can interface on a higher-authority level through the flight directors. MCC is manned 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The control centers are supported by teams operating in shifts comprised of both government employees and contractor personnel. A shift is typically nine hours long, which allows for a one-hour handover from the off-going team to the oncoming team. This will be maintained for the duration that ISS is in orbit. There are additional control centers dedicated to payload operations in the United States, and in the near future, there will be International Partner control centers in Japan and Europe.

Steven Johnson, International Space Station Flight Controller, U.S. Electrical Power System.

View a list of answered questions or ask MCC your own question.

Curator: Kim Dismukes | Responsible NASA Official: John Ira Petty | Updated: 09/03/2003
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