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HOUSTON — NASA's efforts to restore its Apollo-era Mission Control has given new meaning to "We're go, Flight!"
The call, which 50 years ago was in reference to the flight director at the head of the Mission Operations Control Room (MOCR), could now also apply to the newly-refurbished consoles that returned to Houston on Wednesday (Nov. 7), by way of NASA's Super Guppy cargo aircraft. The delivery, from a restoration facility in Kansas, marked the first time that the ground control hardware had taken flight.
November - Europe - Mission - Venus - Spacecraft
On November 8, 2005, Europe launched its first mission to Venus. The spacecraft was called Venus Express. Venus is a hothouse planet. Lava flows on its surface, and the atmospheric pressure can easily crush an unprotected spacecraft. Even from orbit, Venus Express had to survive harsh radiation. But the spacecraft lasted for more than 9 years. During that time, it saw a weird vortex spiraling around Venus's south pole. It also saw possible signs of active volcanoes. Venus Express also discovered that the planet generates its own auroras. These auroras happen when particles from the sun hit charged particles in the atmosphere. Late in the Venus Express mission, controllers told the spacecraft to dip down into Venus's clouds — even though the spacecraft wasn't designed to do this. It performed well, but eventually it stopped listening to commands. The spacecraft burned up in the atmosphere in January 2015.
On Thursday, 10 of the push-button and screen-lined cabinets were unloaded from the bulbous-nosed aircraft at Ellington Airport, not far from Johnson Space Center, after spending the past 10 months being cleaned, repaired and equipped with new internal electronics.
Arrival - Group - Consoles - Cosmosphere - Hutchinson
"We are celebrating the arrival of the first group of restored consoles from the Cosmosphere in Hutchinson, Kansas. Truly, these consoles represent the crown jewel and centerpiece of our restoration efforts," said...
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