retired NASA Flight Director
The Foundations of Mission Operations, in its simplest description, is a set of core values and guiding principles that governs everything we do in Mission Operations, whether it is operations in Mission Control, astronaut and flight controller training, or mission planning, design and analysis work.…The Foundations were mostly born from a series of challenges and crises that the team faced in the early days – during Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo.
- To instill within ourselves these qualities essential to professional excellence
- Discipline…Being able to follow as well as to lead, knowing that we must master ourselves before we can master our task.
- Competence…There being no substitute for total preparation and complete dedication, for space will not tolerate the careless or indifferent.
- Confidence…Believing in ourselves as well as others, knowing that we must master fear and hesitation before we can succeed.
- Responsibility…Realizing that it cannot be shifted to others, for it belongs to each of us; we must answer for what we do, or fail to do.
- Toughness…Taking a stand when we must; to try again, and again, even if it means following a more difficult path.
- Teamwork…Respecting and utilizing the abilities of others, realizing that we work toward a common goal, for success depends upon the efforts of all.
- Vigilance…Always attentive to the dangers of spaceflight; never accepting success as a substitute for rigor in everything we do.
- To always be aware that suddenly and unexpectedly we may find ourselves in a role where our performance has ultimate consequences.
- To recognize that the greatest error is not to have tried and failed, but that in the trying we do not give it our best effort.
This page is dedicated in memory
of Coach Rob Copeland,
Franciscan University Track/Field Coach, and
teacher at Catholic Central High School