On 26 September 2017, the Mission Control Team worked 'on-console' in the Main Control Room at ESA's ESOC mission control centre in Darmstadt, Germany, in a long day of simulation training as part of preparations for Sentinel-5P launch, set for 13 October.
By 12 October, the team will have conducted 26 day-long simulation sessions. Each runs for a full day, and employs sophisticated software to replicate the satellite and ground systems. Trainers can inject faults, errors and breakdowns into the simulation, testing the skill and knowledge of even the most experienced engineers and the teamwork and problem-solving abilities of everyone.
“The human factor is the one that determines the success of the mission. There is no single responsibility, and it is great to see our teams working together,” says spacecraft operations manager Daniel Mesples.
Why does everyone abandon the room at one point? This was an evacuation exercise ordered by ESOC Safety & Security, to simulate what to do if a fire or other hazard were to occur unexpectedly.