Mission Control

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Mission Controllers celebrate the touchdown of Daedalus. Left to right: Dr. James Magwood, Max Jeffcott, Nick Goddard, Matt Dunbar, Austin Ramclam, Samuel Baltz

Mission Control is the primary "Earth-based" branch of the OCESS. In scope of the mission, it acts as the home base, and HQ of the OCESS. It has traditionally been located at 440, where it housed the many members of the Mission Control Staff as they helped the Astronauts confront the difficulties of space flight and exploration, but for Mission Daedalus 2010 it was moved to the Spacesim Office at Lisgar for the 0800-2000 Mission Control shifts.

It is worth noting that Mission Control is not the only Earth-Based branch of the OCESS as of Mission Daedalus. Earth Station 1 was added for that mission, but the Earth Station 1 Procedures dictate that only Mission Control may contact the habitat and that ES1 is for purely diagnostic purposes, never assuming a command role.


The oldest known description of Mission Control reads as follows:

Mission Control is the brains of the mission. From this room in the Ottawa-Carleton Educational Media Centre, the entire operation is co-ordinated and administered.

Computers and various electronic devices are strewn about the room in a seemingly random fashion. However, there is a method to this madness. Each one has a specific task, running the many programs which are needed to keep the mission operating at peak efficiency. An ancient TV monitor displays the countdown, reading its data off a tape recorder. The newest video-conferencing technology permits the Mission Controllers to communicate with their peers at Lisgar Collegiate Institute.


Members of the simulation take turns at various workstations. The Flight Director assists the Mission Commander. One member is delegated to deal with visitors, to answer the phone and to keep a log of the activities during the mission. The astronauts doing science experiments are supported by yet another member while one person is communicating with the hab on headsets and another is on computer communication. Each station on Mission Control is crucial to the smooth operation of the mission. Every task, no matter how small, is vital.

Notable Changes

Since the above description there have been many changes to the fundamental functioning of Mission Control.

  • At Ottawa Tech the Mission Control computers are lined neatly on a shelf opposite the television and camera racks. In the Spacesim Office they all face inwards towards a central area while the Observing Deck is immediately inside the room from the door.
  • Multiple relatively modern televisions are now used as camera monitors.
  • No cameras run to Lisgar any longer; all cameras are wired between the hab and the Simulator Loft. In Mission Daedalus Windows Net Meeting was used to bring a video feed to Mission Control while at 440 and Lisgar.
  • The Mission Control Commander is only in Mission Control as frequently as any other Flight Director.
  • All communication between Mission Control and the astronauts must be approved by the Flight Director and delivered by CAPCOM (the only exception to the latter is if the Flight Director demands to speak directly to the hab). Many breakdowns in communication in Training Missions have been caused by the existance of multiple lines of communication, and this resulted in the severe enforcement of these rules leading up to and during Mission Daedalus.

See also