June 3, 2022

Jupiter control room

Inaugurated in 1996 with the 82nd Ariane launch, the Jupiter II building meets the operational needs of the GSC with the Control centre, and also the communication needs for welcoming guests and journalists during launches.

The control centre is a small amphitheatre surrounded by a video wall, where guests can experience the lift-off and the mission live. On the day of the launch, it receives three types of audience: the operational staff who coordinate the GSC for the launch, the guests, and the press.

GSC control tower

In the front rows, separated from the public by large windows, are the operational staff. At the centre is the Operations Director, the DDO. Like a conductor, he orchestrates the launch operations, in close collaboration with the launch centre. Surrounded by specialists from each of the GSC launch facilities and the decision-making bodies of CNES, the European Space Agency and Arianespace, as well as from the satellite customers, he gives the green light for lift-off if all the conditions are met.

All lights are green!

On the operational video wall, a panel grabs all the attention: some fifteen lights, which represent the status of each of the launch parameters, such as the launcher, the satellites, the weather or the telemetry. Usually green, these lights turn red if an anomaly is detected, suspending the launch sequence. In such a scenario, checks are carried out by the launch teams to determine whether the problem is real and whether it can be resolved quickly, in which case the sequence resumes.

The Control centre during the 22nd Soyuz launch

Roles of the operators in Control centre operations

Welcoming the public and the press

On the outer rows, more than 230 seats are reserved for launch spectators. The Control centre is reserved primarily for customers who come to see their satellite lift off and for institutional partners, but is also accessible to the general public if space permits. Following the launch sequence live on giant screens, with technical commentaries in several languages, the public can also watch the lift-off from the panoramic terraces of Jupiter II.

Above the general public, the press centre welcomes journalists in a dedicated working area.

before Jupiter 2...

Before 1996, the control centre was located in the Jupiter 1 building, within the Technical Centre. Built in the early days of the GSC, Jupiter 1 was at the heart of the operations for the Diamant, Europa and Ariane 1, 2, 3 and 4 launchers.

Jupiter 1 is now home to the flight safety teams, who are on standby to neutralise the launcher if it presents a risk during lift-off.

Jupiter Control center in 1980