I have attended a few NASA events, including the last shuttle launch and the launch of MAVEN. I visited Johnson Space Center in May 2013, tweeting images and thoughts from my visit. The image above was seen by Jennifer Welsh at Business Insider and included in a post, with my permission.
“Joanne Manaster, a biologist at the University of Illinois-Urbana, tweeted this image of the mission control room that runs the International Space Station.
In the picture, you can see a video link into the station, the video feed from an outer camera on the station, and the station’s route, which you can also find online. Look at all those screens — four each!
You can see the Flight Director, who monitors the technical aspects of the space station’s flight in real time; the CAPCOM, who is the capsule communicator that talks directly to the astronauts on the space station; and the MOD, the mission operations dictorate, who plans, directs, manages, and implements overall mission operations.“
I also saw a retired Soyuz capsule, a mock up of the International Space Station used to train astronauts and some mock-ups of the new Orion capsule that will be our next vehicle to take humans back and forth to space, and with any luck, they will also go to Mars.
If you ever have an opportunity to go to a NASA Social, I highly recommend giving it a chance. It will help you look at our space program with a more informed eye, and every space news story will come alive in your mind.