A Control Center for the Future
The mental shift from Mercury to Gemini, let alone to Apollo, in the years 1962 and 1963 required some futuristic conceptual thinking. The available technology did not match the sophistication of the spacecraft and the necessary operational concepts. There was something of a disconnect between operations and reality. Operations people are very pragmatic; they contemplate and visualize but don’t dream, they rely on scientists and engineers to create the hardware and software they conceive for supporting mission operations. Often, the operational concepts become the requirements that the designer must satisfy. Then too, the operators know that the manufacturers build using their own technologies, therefore flight controllers must learn how systems operate. Operators let others worry about the technology that will go into the spacecraft, launch vehicle and tracking network, and they focus on the control center technology that they will need.