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NASA Space Science

Behind the Scenes At NASA's Mission Control Center 38

Posted by samzenpus
from the behind-the-curtain dept.
willith writes "I was recently given the opportunity to spend several hours on the floor of Historic Mission Operations Control Room #2, at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. MOCR2 was used to control almost manned Gemini and Apollo mission, including Apollo 11 & 13. More, my tour guide was none other than famous Apollo mission controller Sy Liebergot, one of the fellows behind the solution that saved Apollo 13. I go in-depth on the role of the flight controller during Apollo, and focus on how and why Mission Control functioned, and I spend a lot of time talking about the consoles and how they worked. The feature includes a ton of anecdotes and stories from Mr. Liebergot about mission control in general, and about what he did during Apollo 12 & 13 specifically. I also put together a supplemental report that goes through each and every station and describes their Apollo-era layout."
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Behind the Scenes At NASA's Mission Control Center

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  • by slacka (713188) on Thursday November 01, 2012 @11:53PM (#41850279)

    Big daring projects like the Apollo program and Mars Curiosity, is the reason why I love NASA so much. It's one of the few Federal programs I would actually like to see expanded. They do so much with so little. I hope whoever wins this next election finds a way to expand their budget.

    “We tend to hear much more about the splendors returned than the ships that brought them or the shipwrights. It has always been that way. Even those history books enamored of the voyages of Christopher Columbus do not tell much about the builders of the Nina the Pinta and the Santa Maria or about the principle of the caravel. These spacecraft their designers builders navigators and controllers are examples of what science and engineering set free for well-defined peaceful purposes can accomplish. Those scientists and engineers should be role models for an America seeking excellence and international competitiveness. They should be on our stamps.” Carl Sagan,

  • by Macrat (638047) on Thursday November 01, 2012 @11:59PM (#41850309)

    It's one of the few Federal programs I would actually like to see expanded.

    They would have more to work with if they could do away with the bloated govt contractor process.

  • by tlambert (566799) on Friday November 02, 2012 @03:23AM (#41850853)

    It's one of the few Federal programs I would actually like to see expanded.

    They would have more to work with if they could do away with the bloated govt contractor process.

    I know we pay them public money, and they can be bought off for the purposes of industrial espionage or for just plain espionage by corporations or foreign powers, but it's still disrespectful to call them "contractors" instead of "Senators".

  • by Rockoon (1252108) on Friday November 02, 2012 @09:28AM (#41852761)

    Only $2.5B to flawlessly land a 1 ton nuclear powered rover on the surface of Mars.

    I see your logic. Point out really bad spending in order to make something that costs less look justified. The problem is that it doesn't.

    "Only $2.5B" is the entire income of 55,000 Americans at the median. The space shuttle, including first launch and re-entry, cost quite a bit less.

    1 ton is 32000 ounces. So the MSL has so far cost $80,000 per ounce.

    Dont even think about bringing up the fuel, because the space shuttle was 2000 times as massive and could be put into polar orbit for about 20% of the cost of the MSL.

    No sir, while it's nice to do science stuff, the cost was not justified. This was NASA shoveling money at private corporations, enabled by runaway government deficits and a lack of any semblance of responsible oversight. Did you miss the article last week about the set of weather satellites that have cost $12.5B so far, and arent even launch-able for several more years?

    NASA's primary mission is to shovel money at corporations. The science stuff is an excuse to do so, and you can't justify the gross inefficiency with logical fallacies about the Iraq war. It's nice to do science stuff, but don't shut your brain off just because science is being done.

Some people have a great ambition: to build something that will last, at least until they've finished building it.