Turns out the subject matter sinks in after an intensive period of study
· During the sixth week of the intensive training, we were at last taken for a visit to the world-famous MCC - (Manned Mission Control Center). You can see all of the activity inside the Space Station and outside it on the giant screens, and all of the vital metrics, including communication cut-off times.
· Control crews, who undergo years of training, man these control stations 24/7. Each controller sits facing 7-6 personal screens, and these provide him the information about all of the unique functions of each one of the aspects of the role, which includes a location controller, a systems controller, a computer controller, a life support systems controller (air, oxygen, water), a storage controller and the list goes on and on. Other screens reflect what is happening in the Japanese, Russian and European control centers and in the scientific payloads control center in Huntsville.
· TJ Creamer is the only person in all of NASA’s history that started out as an astronaut and became a flight director. Creamer, who is going to be the person in charge of AX1, controls us from time to time in the lessons and simulations we do, and he makes sure we accomplish all our tasks.
· In the two hours of our visit, during which we sat there mesmerized, I had that pleasant feeling of being familiar with the tables and everything that’s written on those many screens, including finding my way around in all of the Station’s parts in the video we watched as it was being beamed live. Turns out the subject matter sinks in after an intensive period of practice and study.
· At the end we took part in a summing up of the day with the International Space Station, which proceeded with a French accent since the French astronaut Thomas Pesquet is the current commander. There were no special issues and the crew moved on to its rest period and lights out.