International Space Station

Ground Operations

An ISS mission control team operates in the NASA Space Station Control Center, and in centers operated by Canadian, European, Japanese and Russian space agencies. Another team of controllers operates NASA's Payload Operations Integration Center. A NASA-led Mission Management Team comprising the major partners is called in when decisions must be made outside of established operation rules or program-level priorities need to change.

  • NASA Space Station Control Center, Mission Control Center, Houston. Responsible for overall operations and safety, including launch, rendezvous, docking and assembly of NASA elements and vehicles.
  • Payload Operations Integration Center, Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Alabama. Handles the execution and coordination of all payload operations, planning and safety.
  • Mission Control Center -- Moscow is responsible for the launch, rendezvous, docking, assembly and control of Russian elements. In coordination with NASA, it directs ISS component launch activities at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
  • Columbus Orbital Facility Control Center, Oberfafenhoffen, Germany, a European Space Agency-provided ground control facility for the Columbus and the Automated Transfer Vehicle. It conducts planning, preparation, monitoring and control of the two spacecraft and their payloads.
  • Space Station Integration and Control Center, Tsukuba Space Center, Tsukuba Science City, is the National Space Development Agency of Japan control facility for the Japanese Experiment Module. It's responsible for planning, readying, tracking and controlling the Module's operations, as well as other Agency ISS vehicles.
  • CSA Mobile Servicing System Operations Complex, St. Hubert, Quebec, is the Canadian Space Agency's Mobile Servicing Center operational support facility. The Agency monitors and supports the 58-ft. long robotic "arm" for NASA's Space Station Control Center.