MSS Operation Complex

Located at the Canadian Space Agency's (CSA) headquarters in Saint-Hubert, Quebec, the Mobile Servicing System (MSS) Operations Complex is the main facility for planning and monitoring Canadarm2 and Dextre's activities on board the International Space Station (ISS). All astronauts and flight controllers who operate the Canadian robotic systems on board the station are trained at the MSS Operations Complex.

Canada's "Mission Control": The CSA's Remote Multipurpose Support Room

Canadian flight controllers monitor Dextre from the Remote Multipurpose Support Room at the CSA's headquarters in Saint-Hubert, Quebec. (Credit: CSA)

Working closely with their National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) counterparts, Canadian flight controllers support more than half of all Canadarm2 and Dextre operations from the Remote Multipurpose Support Room, which is located at the CSA's headquarters in Saint-Hubert, Quebec.

The CSA's control room differs conceptually from other ISS control centers in that it was designed to allow team members, trained to operate in close proximity, to be separated by large distances.

The Remote Multipurpose Support Room was designed as a functional room of NASA's Mission Control Centre at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, despite its geographic remoteness. The CSA's mission control was designed to replicate the Houston control centre with the highest degree of fidelity. This would not only minimize any training impacts, but also ensure that the "ROBO" team (the robotics specialists that command Dextre and Canadarm2) could continue to work as a highly integrated unit, regardless of their geographical location. The CSA's control centre includes the same commanding, telemetry, voice, and video capabilities as those available at NASA in Houston.

MSS Operations and Training System

Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi (left) learns how to operate Canadarm2 in the MSS Operations and Training System. CSA flight controller and instructor, Ed Birchnall (right) uses a model to demonstrate how Canadarm2 extracts a pallet from Japan's HTV visiting vehicle. (Credit: CSA)

This simulator is used for training mission specialists to operate the MSS, which includes familiarity with visual displays and computer equipment used on the space station.

It consists of two crew stations that replicate the robotic workstations on board the station, graphics supercomputers, instructor stations and operations stations.

Virtual tour

Canadian MSS Training Facility

The facility is used to train instructors, mission specialists for MSS robotics operations activities on the Space Station, and mission controllers for ground-based operations at the MSS Operations Complex.

The classroom consists of computer-based training workstations, instructor stations, courseware development workstations, and detailed training models of the Canadian robotic systems on board the International Space Station.

Virtual tour