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  Mercury - Gemini - Apollo
  Gemini and Apollo flight control rooms

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Author Topic:   Gemini and Apollo flight control rooms
mjanovec
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Posts: 3593
From: Midwest, USA
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 10-16-2006 02:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm sure most people have seen the news that Flight Control Room-1 (FCR-1) has been remodeled to serve as the flight control room for the ISS.

The question I have is what is the name of the flight control room that served during the bulk of the Gemini and Apollo missions (e.g. Apollo 8, Apollo 11, etc.)? Are there any plans to revive this room for future missions or is it being preserved as a sort of "museum" to flight control?

Also, I'm curious what happens to the hardware that was replaced in FCR-1. Is it simply tossed out or will it go to museums?

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-16-2006 02:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
FCR-2 (also known as MOCR-2) is the front room from where the Gemini and Apollo missions were managed (all with the exception of Apollo 7).

FCR-2 is now a national landmark and has been restored to appear as it did during the Apollo missions. It is included as a stop on the tours provided by Space Center Houston. (FCR-2 is located one floor above FCR-1.)

Regarding the Apollo hardware that was in FCR-1, I asked Chief Flight Director Phil Engelauf that very question during the pre-flight STS-115 briefings back on August 11. Here is his reply:

Some of that has gone to the Smithsonian, some of it has gone to the visitor center at Space Center Houston, the old consoles.

mjanovec
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Posts: 3593
From: Midwest, USA
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 10-16-2006 02:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the information, Robert!

Do you know if FCR-1 and FCR-2 are essentially the same size as each other? Looking at the pics of FCR-1, it looks bigger than FCR-2, but maybe that's just my imagination.

I'm happy to hear FCR-2 is a national landmark and that it has been returned to look like it did during the Apollo days. It's one place I really want to visit someday.

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-16-2006 03:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I do not know the exact square footage, but having now been inside both, I would estimate that FCR-1 and FCR-2 are approximately the same size.

One major difference today between FCR-1 and FCR-2 are their floors. During the Apollo years (and therefore preserved within FCR-2) the floor was tiered with four levels increasing in height as you walked further into the room. For reasons that included maximizing floor space and network wiring requirements, the tiered floor was leveled in FCR-1 during its eight months of renovation.

Here are a few photographs taken within FCR-2 over the past few years:

Sy Liebergot
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Posts: 458
From: Pearland, Texas USA
Registered: May 2003

posted 10-16-2006 08:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Sy Liebergot   Click Here to Email Sy Liebergot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
We guys who worked in those two rooms, during Gemini, Apollo, Skylab and ASTP, NEVER referred to them as FCRs, which is a later shuttle terminology. To us they were just MOCR.

LM-12
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Posts: 809
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 04-01-2013 12:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There was an Emergency Mission Control Center (EMCC) located at the Goddard Space Flight Center during Apollo. This 1970 issue of MSC Roundup (PDF) has an article and diagram of the EMCC.

LM-12
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Posts: 809
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 05-12-2013 02:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Gemini 5 photo S65-28679 was taken just before launch. It caught my attention because I think it is the only image I have ever seen that shows a Gemini-Titan up on the screen at Mission Control in Houston.

Jim Behling
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Posts: 537
From: Cape Canaveral, FL
Registered: Mar 2010

posted 05-12-2013 02:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LM-12:
There was an Emergency Mission Control Center (EMCC) located at the Goddard Space Flight Center during Apollo.
This policy continued through the Shuttle program.

John K. Rochester
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Posts: 1273
From: Rochester, NY, USA
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 05-12-2013 06:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for John K. Rochester   Click Here to Email John K. Rochester     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
FCR-2 (also known as MOCR-2) is the front room from where the Gemini and Apollo missions were managed (all with the exception of Apollo 7).
Wasn't Gemini 3 managed from Mission Control at the Cape? I believe Gemini 4 was the first flight controlled from Houston...

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-12-2013 08:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, that is correct. Though its been more than a few years, given the context, I believe when I wrote that in 2006 I was implying all the Gemini missions controlled from the Mission Control Center in Houston.

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