This is an archive of information released in the past.

Disclaimer: It may contain broken links or outdated information. Some parts may not function in current web browsers.
*Visit for the latest information.


Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency:JAXA
  • contact us
  • Japanese

Supporting Kibo

Operations Team

Last Updated: September 9, 2014

JAXA Flight Control Team (JFCT)

JAXA Mission Control Room (MCR) during 1J mission

JAXA Mission Control Room (MCR)

The JAXA Flight Control Team (JFCT) consists of flight directors and more than 50 flight controllers. The team monitors and controls Kibo around the clock in a three-shift per day schedule. The flight director oversees and directs the team, and the flight controllers possess specialized expertise on all Kibo systems.

The JFCT monitors the status of command uplinks, data downlinks, system payloads and experiments aboard Kibo. The JFCT has the capability of making real-time operations planning changes, and can communicate directly with the crew aboard Kibo and the various international partner mission control centers located around the world. The team troubleshoot problems or anomalies that may occur aboard the Kibo during flight operations.

The JFCT organizes and conducts mission-specific training which accurately simulates actual Kibo flight operations. The team is responsible for the preparation and evaluation of all plans and procedures performed by the crew aboard Kibo, and by controllers on the ground. In addition, the JFCT regularly conducts off-nominal and contingency training for all certified flight controllers, and candidate flight controllers.


JFCT layout in the JAXA MCR

The roles of the respective sections of JFCT are as follows:


JAXA Flight Director

J-FLIGHT is the leader of the JFCT. J-FLIGHT directs the overall operation of Kibo, including operations planning, system and experiment operations, and other tasks performed by the crew aboard Kibo.
The flight controllers assigned to each control section must ensure that the J-FLIGHT is given the current status of every detail of Kibo operations.


Control and Network Systems, Electrical Power, and ICS Communication Officer

CANSEI is responsible for Kibo’s flight control, network systems, electrical power and ICS communications. CANSEI monitors the control status of on-board computers, network systems, and electrical power systems through data downlinked from Kibo on a real-time basis.


Fluid and Thermal Officer

FLAT is responsible for monitoring the status of the Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) and the Thermal Control System (TCS) which regulate the heat generated by the equipment aboard Kibo. These systems are monitored through telemetry data downlinked from Kibo on a real-time basis.


Kibo Robotics Team

KIBOTT is responsible for the overall operation of Kibo’s robotic arms, scientific airlock, and other associated mechanisms. During robotic arm and airlock operations, KIBOTT prepares and monitors the related systems necessary for the flight crew to perform the appropriate tasks aboard Kibo.


JAXA Planner

J-PLAN is responsible for planning the actual flight operations. J-PLAN monitors the status and progress of Kibo operations and, if necessary, amends or modifies the operation plans as required.


Tsukuba Ground Controller

TSUKUBA GC is responsible for the overall operation and maintenance of the ground support facilities that are essential for Kibo flight operations. This includes the operations control systems and the operations network systems.


JEM Communicator

J-COM is responsible for voice communications with the crew aboard Kibo. J-COM communicates all essential information to the crew for operating Kibo systems and experiments, and/or responds to Kibo-specific inquiries from the crew.


Astronaut Related IVA and Equipment Support

ARIES is responsible for Intra-Vehicular Activity (IVA) operations aboard Kibo. ARIES manages the tools and other IVA-related support equipment on Kibo.


JEM Payload Officer

JEM PAYLOADS is responsible for Kibo’s experiment payload operations, and coordinates payload activities with the Primary Investigators of each respective experiment.


JAXA Extravehicular Activity

JAXA EVA is responsible for Kibo-related Extravehicular Activity (EVA) operations and provides technical support to the crew members who perform Kibo-related EVAs.

Note: The JAXA EVA flight controllers station JAXA EVA staff at the NASA Johnson Space Center.

JEM Engineering Team (JET)

The JEM Engineering Team (JET) is responsible for providing technical support to JFCT and technical evaluation of real-time data and pre- and post-flight analysis. JET consists of the JET lead and electrical subsystem, fluid subsystem and IVA engineers who are members of the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) Development Project Team. JET engineers also work in the NASA Mission Evaluation Room at NASA JSC in order to perform joint troubleshooting and anomaly resolution.

Operations Management Team (OMT)

Operations Management Team (OMT) is responsible for coordinating with international partners regarding Kibo operations. At the TKSC and JSC, the team collects and exchanges information regarding Kibo's operational plan and real-time operations for a decision making.

Copyright 2007 Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Site Policy