A collection of people and computers, usually centered around one room, which oversee manned and unmanned space flights using telemetry from the booster rocket(s) and payload or spacecraft.

Traditionally, the primary mission control room is staffed with mission controllers, each of whom has responsibility for a specific subsytem such as guidance and navigation or re-entry retrorockets. In large scale missions, each mission controller is in contact with other experts or participants in various backrooms or external locations. Mission control is led by a flight director who has overall responsibility for decisions made during a mission.

Perhaps the most famous mission controller who was not a flight director is John Aaron, who is credited for saving the Apollo 12 mission, after it was struck by lightning soon after launch and making a key contribution to saving the lives of the Apollo 13 crew by working out electrical power sequences. (Contrary to the movie Apollo 13, astronaut Ken Mattingly was not the creator of these sequences.)

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