Mission Operations Control Room (MOCR)

Wide angle view of the Mission Operations Control Room just after lift-off of Apollo 15.
The plots on the large screens are meant to enable the flight controllers to ascertain whether the Saturn V stays within its flight envelope. Altitude, downrange distance, inertial flight path angle and velocity are the most important parameters for the assessment. The 2nd and the 3rd plot screens from right to left, are also meant to oversee the several abort mode regions in a flight path angle versus velocity plot. An abort will result in a landing into the Atlantic Ocean of the Command Module or a contingency orbit for the Command & Service Module.

Credit to NASA.

Floorplan of the Mission Operations Control Room (MOCR)

MOCR Floorplan
Fourth row of consoles (The "Trench")

BOOSTER - Booster System Engineers
Monitoring the performance of all three stages of the Saturn V

RETRO - Retrofire Officer
Is reponsible for getting the spacecraft back in case of mission abort and during the return phase of a mission. During the mission RETRO always kept a list of abort options to take swiftly adequate actions in case of emergencies.

FDO - Flight Dynamics Officer
Monitoring the flight trajectory of the launch vehicle and the spacecraft. FDO was also responsible for producing the data to compensate for flight path deviations.

GUIDO - Guidance Officer
Ensure that the Apollo Primary Guidance, Navigation and Control Systems (PGNCS) on both the Command Module and the Lunar Module operate correctly.

Third row of consoles

SURGEON - Life Systems Officer / Flight Surgeon
Medical doctor who monitored the health of the crew.

CAPCOM - Capsule Communicator
Was usually a colleague astronaut and was in his role as flight controller the only one in the room who was allowed to talk directly to the spacecraft's crew.

EECOM - Electrical, Environmental and Communications
Watching over the Command and Service Module's electrical and environmental systems.
The "communications" part was moved over to INCO after the Apollo 10 mission to ease the elaborate task of EECOM.

GNC - CSM Guidance, Navigation and Control
The GNC operator monitored the state of the reaction-control systems and the Service Module's main engine, as well as the hardware components of the spacecraft's guidance systems.

TELMU - Telemetry, Electrical and EVA Mobility Unit
Watching over electrical and environmental systems of the Lunar Module and the Lunar suits.

CONTROL - LM Guidance, Navigation and Control
The CONTROL operator monitored the state of the reaction-control systems, the descent and the ascent engines of the Lunar Module, as well as the hardware components of the spacecraft's guidance systems.

Second row of consoles

O & P - Operations and Procedures
Making sure that flight controllers followed all of the procedures when asking for data or communicating with people, all according to flight control operations handbook.

INCO - Instrumentation and Communication Officer
INCO monitored the communications systems for both the Command Module and the Lunar Module, taking these tasks from EECOM and TELMU respectively.

AFLIGHT - Assistant Flight Director
Duplicating the flight director's duties, monitoring the mission and supplementing the flight director's control.

FLIGHT - Flight Director
The flight director, FLIGHT, can be compared to an orchestra leader. FLIGHT had ultimate authority to do anything necessary to ensure the crew's safety and the mission's success, in that order of priority.

FAO - Flight Activities Officer
FAO, was the timeline manager for the mission and ensured that the preplanned activities for each mission were occurring on schedule.

NETWORK - Network Controller
NETWORK functioned as the interface with the global network of MSFN data collection and transmission stations which served NASA.
(MSFN: The Manned Space Flight Network was a set of tracking stations built to support the American Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, and Skylab space programs)

First row of consoles

PAO - Public Affairs Officer
PAO provided audio narration for the mission, which would be broadcast on radio and television. PAO commentary helped the public understand what they were seeing on their screens during the televised portions of a mission, and also gave news media something on which to base their own commentary.

DFO - Director of Flight Operations
The director functioned as an interface between Mission Control and space center management.

HQ - NASA Headquarters (Mission Operations Directorate)
This position acted as a liaison between the Mission Control team and NASA headquarters in Washington, DC.

DOD - Department of Defense Officer
A representative from the Department of Defense, usually a high ranking officer.
The military was responsible for coordinating the recovery of the spacecrafts after splashdown.

Group Displays of the Mission Operations Control Room (MOCR)

The paper model, shown in de pictures below, depicts an example of how the large group displays were used. This example reflects a mission phase in which the spacecraft is on its way to the moon and the lunar module is about to be docked by the CSM (the mother spacecraft) and to be extracted from the S-IVB stage.

Paper model (1:25) of the Mission Operations Control Room (MOCR)







Site Map |  References |  Change History

Copyright 2020 by Sander Panhuyzen
Comments and questions welcome. All pictures and drawings contained on these pages are the author's, unless otherwise noted. No unauthorized reproduction without permission.