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XSearch System Successfully Deployed Into MCC Operations

The second and final phase of XSearch deployment was completed successfully on July 22, 2008 when the system went live as part of the International Space Station (ISS) Mission Control Center’s (MCC) Web Gateway at Johnson Space Center (JSC). In just its first week of operation, 225 individual flight controllers from across the ISS program accessed the system, conducting over 1000 different searches for ISS information. The system has been well received by users and was released smoothly, with virtually no technical problems experienced.

During Phase 1 of XSearch deployment, which was completed two months earlier, the XSearch indexing engine began live processing of new flight operations records generated by flight controllers in MCC on a continuous basis, once every five minutes. Record processing involves analyzing flight control information to detect cross-references within records and similarities between pairs of records. The indexing engine was stress-tested during STS-124, when many more new records were created per hour than during a non-shuttle mission period. The system easily kept up with the workload generated by flight controllers during the mission. User search functionality was not available during Phase 1, and was made available as part of the Phase 2 deployment.

BACKGROUND: XSearch is a new system that provides search and linkage across multiple databases used by ISS and Shuttle flight controllers. XSearch integrates data from several separate flight operations databases. Through a common interface, Mission Control personnel using XSearch can issue a single search query and simultaneously interrogate multiple mission operations data sources. In addition to conducting search, the system also contextualizes search results by detecting records that are cross-referenced by or textually similar to the search results.

NASA PROGRAM FUNDING: JSC Intercenter Task Agreement funded by ESMD Constellation Mission Operations Project Office

Project Team: Rich Keller, Chris Knight, Dan Berrios, Mohana Gurram, Steve Lin, Lisa Faithorn, Cori Schauer, Keith Swanson (ARC); Tim Hall, Jason Toschlog, James Hart, Jenny Yang (JSC)

Contact: Rich Keller


This overall view of the station flight control room (FCR) in Johnson Space Center's (JSC) Mission Control Center (MCC) was photographed during rendezvous and docking operations between the Soyuz TMA-3 spacecraft and the International Space Station (ISS). The Space Shuttle and International Space Station FCRs are basically identical in their equipment and supporting structure, however the ISS FCR is smaller than the Space Shuttle FCR and operates with fewer flight controllers.

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