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Operating and Managing a Backup Control CenterDue to the criticality of continuous mission operations, some control centers must plan for alternate locations in the event an emergency shuts down the primary control center. Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston, Texas is the Mission Control Center (MCC) for the International Space Station (ISS). Due to Houston s proximity to the Gulf of Mexico, JSC is prone to threats from hurricanes which could cause flooding, wind damage, and electrical outages to the buildings supporting the MCC. Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) has the capability to be the Backup Control Center for the ISS if the situation is needed. While the MSFC Huntsville Operations Support Center (HOSC) does house the BCC, the prime customer and operator of the ISS is still the JSC flight operations team. To satisfy the customer and maintain continuous mission operations, the BCC has critical infrastructure that hosts ISS ground systems and flight operations equipment that mirrors the prime mission control facility. However, a complete duplicate of Mission Control Center in another remote location is very expensive to recreate. The HOSC has infrastructure and services that MCC utilized for its backup control center to reduce the costs of a somewhat redundant service. While labor talents are equivalent, experiences are not. Certain operations are maintained in a redundant mode, while others are simply maintained as single string with adequate sparing levels of equipment. Personnel at the BCC facility must be trained and certified to an adequate level on primary MCC systems. Negotiations with the customer were done to match requirements with existing capabilities, and to prioritize resources for appropriate level of service. Because some of these systems are shared, an activation of the backup control center will cause a suspension of scheduled HOSC activities that may share resources needed by the BCC. For example, the MCC is monitoring a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico. As the threat to MCC increases, HOSC must begin a phased activation of the BCC, while working resource conflicts with normal HOSC activities. In a long duration outage to the MCC, this could cause serious impacts to the BCC host facility s primary mission support activities. This management of a BCC is worked based on customer expectations and negotiations done before emergencies occur. I.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Marsh, Angela L. (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Pirani, Joseph L. (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Bornas, Nicholas (Colsa, Inc. Huntsville, AL, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
April 24, 2010
Subject Category
Ground Support Systems and Facilities (Space)
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
SpaceOps 2010: Delivering on the Dream(Huntsville, AL)
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.

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