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Casual Space

Dec 20, 2019

Bill Foster is a Ground Control Officer and has supported more than 50 NASA missions from within Mission Control at the Johnson Space Center.  He shares his unique perspective with Beth on: 

  • What it’s like INSIDE NASA’s Mission Control Center? Bill walks us through a behind-the scenes history of the Mission Control Center: from the state-of-the-art projectors on the main screens in the 1960s, to the modern ground stations around the world (along with the Air Force and the Deep Space Network) have all helped ensure mission success 
  • Simulations. Mission-like environments that help crews both on the ground and in space. These simulations are at the very heart of what NASA does to ensure mission safety and success. 
  • Movie stars! Rock stars! And NASA’s own stars: the people who stay calm, collected and focused during our most impactful moments in space exploration… Bill has been witness to all of this and more. He shares a few of his most impactful moments and fun memories with us on Casual Space.  

If you would like to hear more about Bill and his work Episode 26 features Bill Foster, Ground Controller in Mission Control Houston, talks about how space communication networks work and what they will look like for missions into deep space, listen to NASA’s “Houston, We Have a Podcast,” Episode number 26:

About Bill Foster: Reports to the Flight Director during real time mission support on all matters concerning the Mission Control Center and NASA Integrated Network required to receive and display telemetry, radar data and voice; and works to transmit commands and voice to/from spacecraft carrying NASA and International Partner Astronauts. Bill manages a team of backroom support personnel in the MCC and at various locations throughout the Integrated Network to ensure proper support to human spaceflight. Bill has served as lead Ground Controller (GC) for Space Shuttle Ascent and Entry phases of flight, and currently supports the International Space Station, major upgrades to the MCC and supporting MCC and network requirements for Boeing CST-100 spacecraft.


Learn about NASA’s Mission Control at