“The Apollo Mission Control Center is in the middle of an operational building where life-or-death decisions are made for missions in flight. Judgment calls regarding spacewalks, station-threatening debris and solutions to mechanical malfunctions leave little margin for error.”
-David W. Brown, The New York Times
July 20th, 1969 is a day forever sealed in the memory of human history. It’s the day that Neil Armstrong famously said, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” as he took the first steps on the moon.
The United States’ Apollo 11 mission was the first crewed mission to successfully land on the moon. And it wouldn’t have been possible without mission control.
When NASA was formed, there were no models for how the agency should be run. Nothing like mission control had ever existed before. It needed to track real-time data about the space flights and any potential problems without actually having eyes on the spacecraft.
An article in The New York Times about the restoration of the original NASA mission control room touched on the timelessness of the model that was ultimately developed. “The genius of its design is reflected in the present-day mission control center that runs operations for the International Space Station,” writes David W. Brown. “The computers are smaller, the monitors larger…but the design of the room is virtually identical.” Despite the changes in technology and style, present day operators in mission control work in similar conditions – a large video wall, comprised of 5 screens, displays information such as updates on the mission and feeds from the spacecraft in orbit. Writes Brown, “the things used by mission control operators are still basically the same.”
Mission control is the ultimate model in mission critical. Regardless of the application, the modern mission critical command and control center has several things in common with Apollo’s mission control. Attention to detail is vital in these environments, and it’s this attention to detail that got astronauts back home. Life or death decisions were – and are – made at NASA mission control. And while one control center may be tracking fraud risk or security while NASA monitors threats to astronauts’ safety, one thing remains the same: there is no room for mistakes.
It is fitting that on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, we are seeing a revived interest in space travel. NASA is setting its sights on a return mission to the moon, and private companies are also throwing their hats in the ring to enter the next generation of space travel. Regardless of the mission goal, if you are sending people or craft into space, it is important to monitor them with real-time data in a control center.
Constant Technologies has worked with organizations like NASA to build out mission critical command and control centers. With over 30 years in the industry, we have unique experience and knowledge of both the audiovisual and furniture requirements and the specific demands placed upon these installations. Whether you are managing space flights or something a little closer to earth, a successful operation with no unnecessary interruptions is your goal. We provide solutions that will help you reach it. Whether you are looking for control room furniture, resilient video walls, or both, we can customize a solution to fit precisely your needs.
Contact us today to learn more.
About Constant Technologies, Inc.
Constant Technologies, Inc. provides AV integration for 24/7 video walls and custom operation center furniture. With 30+ years of experience, we can work with sensitive environments in the public and private sectors. Constant designs and installs projects of all scopes and sizes around the world. We also offer long-term service and support. We create solutions with the highest levels of security, aesthetics and functionality in mind.