• Question: If something goes wrong on the space station who will be the first port of call? Is it just one person or will different people be contacted with different issues?

    Asked by 11P SHS to Anne, Beth, COLFlight, Jon, Tom on 11 Oct 2015.
    • Photo: Columbus Flight Directors

      Columbus Flight Directors answered on 11 Oct 2015:

      Hi! This is a very good question!

      A short answer could be: it depends on what goes wrong.
      Now a bit longer answer 😉

      The ultimate responibility on the safety of the astronauts relies on the ISS Flight Director, who is in the Mission Control Centre in Houston. This means that he/she will be the first to be contacted in case of emergency situations that could threaten the astronauts life.
      However, he/she will not be solving the problem alone, the team in Houston and all the teams around the world (including us) would work together under his/her coordination.

      We, as Columbus Flight Directors, are the responsible for all the operations inside Columbus. This means that we are the primary point of contact for anything that goes wrong inside Columbus. This, as long as it’s not a life threatening issue, otherwise it’s again the ISS Flight Director, as I wrote above.

      And also for us, we couldn’t do anything alone. We have always a team of experts that would work under our coordination to solve the problem. Depending on what went wrong, we would get help from different specialists. Our responsibility is to put together the work of all the specialists so that the team works out a solution in the fastest and best way. 🙂