A NASA Discovery mission to conduct the first orbital study
of the innermost planet
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Mission Operations Team

Located at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md., the Mission Operations Center (MOC) serves as the interface between the MESSENGER science and engineering teams and the spacecraft. The Center’s primary responsibility is to maintain the health of the spacecraft – which the Mission Operations team does by conducting routine contacts with the spacecraft through NASA’s Deep Space Network of antenna stations. During these contacts, the MOC receives housekeeping data (called telemetry) from the spacecraft to evaluate its current health and plays back science-observation data recorded on the spacecraft’s Solid State Recorder. Additionally, the MOC uses this opportunity to transmit planned command sequences to the spacecraft.

While maintaining spacecraft health, the Mission Operations team works with the Science and Mission Design teams to develop activity sequences for the spacecraft and its instruments. Activity requests from these teams are integrated with maintenance activities to develop command loads that define spacecraft activities within a planning period.

From left to right, back row: Mike Connor (FC), Ed Colwell (FC Lead), Rick Shelton (MP, IA), George Lawrence (FC), Bob Nelson (SA), Karl Whittenburg (MP), Don Mackey (SA, FC), Kim Ord (SA)

Middle row: Andy Calloway (Mission Operations Team Manager), Mark Kochte (MP, IA), Hong Kang (Payload G&C)

Seated: Chris Regan (FC), Nori Laslo (Payload Manager), Dave Sepan (MP, IA), Josh Albers (FC), James Hudson (SA)

SA = Subsystem Analyst; IA = Instrument Analyst; MP = Mission Planner; FC = Flight Controller

The MESSENGER Mission Operations Team
Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
Laurel, Maryland


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