An integrated team monitors space experiments,
astronauts, and Kibo on a 24-hour basis.
JEM Mission Control Room maintains Kibo in a nominal condition, and supports both experimental operations and astronauts, 24 hours a day. It is also where ISS images and data are tracked and monitored continuously. Experimental equipment and other systems can be controlled remotely, and experimental procedures can be coordinated with the astronauts.
JEM Mission Control Room
The JAXA Flight Control Team (JFCT) is staffed by overall flight directors and flight controllers with expertise of each system onboard Kibo.
The JFCT coordinates with international partner mission control centers around the globe, including NASA, as well as astronauts aboard ISS, to monitor system equipment and experimental equipment aboard Kibo, in accordance with plans and procedures. It also manages the transmission of control commands and oversees the real-time progress of activities. In addition, the JFCT coordinates with other mission control centers to troubleshoot emergencies or anomalies that may occur during flight operations.
Payload Flight Control Room
Payload Flight Control Team (PL FCT) monitors the condition of Kibo's experimental equipment in real time, using data transmitted from orbit. The equipment is controlled from the ground to carry out experiments.
They also support astronauts in carrying out such tasks as exchanging experimental samples and installing new experimental equipment. In addition, the team manages activities that utilize smaller-scale experimental equipment and tools without the need for larger equipment, such as Education and Public Outreach (EPO) missions and medical missions.
JAXA Flight Control Team (JFCT)
Payload Flight Control Team
Operaiton Team Training
Flight controllers must complete a training program and achieve certification. From nomination as a flight controller candidate to final certification and mastery of shift operations takes around one and a half to two years.
Furthermore, with the goal of training new flight controllers, candidates are trained in simulated Kibo control environments in collaboration with NASA and ESA, in addition to simulations operated by JAXA itself.
The road to becoming a flight controller
The flight controller’s training begins once a decision has been made as to which team he or she is to become certified with, such as CANSEI, FLAT, or J-PLAN.
There is a large pool of technical information relating to Kibo, which candidates should utilize in a rigorous regimen of self-study. In the case of English, a TOEIC score can be substituted for the taking of a test with JAXA.
For about two weeks, candidates take lectures from morning till evening. It's just like being at summer school!
Candidates undertake simulation training, covering everything from a single problem to handling multiple critical problems, as well as emergency situations. These simulations cover everything including the actual issuing of commands when resolving situations.
Candidates take written and practical tests on what they learned during training, and can breathe a sigh of relief when they pass. From here, they move on from classroom-based training to practical training!
Candidates take an oral examination about the training they have received so far. They also have an interview about their physical condition, such as whether they are comfortable with late-night and irregular shift work.
Candidates are evaluated on their capacity to join a real shift through certification simulation of about eight hours. They are evaluated in terms of their ability to make judgments and how they prioritize their work.
At the end of the process, candidates are screened to confirm that they have completed the necessary training for certification, and that they have the necessary capabilities to join shifts.
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