Mission Designs and Concepts
Developing “mission rules” or “flight rules” as a concept was not really new in 1958. Aircraft flight test programs employed checklists for certain situations, with procedures for what to do in the event of something happening. In a way, these emergency procedures for specific events had the connotation of “rules.” In Project Mercury, this methodology became a discipline. The space environment naturally leads you to think, “What if this happens?” In spaceflight operations you think about these situations in the context of your job, your position, and your responsibility, as well as from the perspective of the launch vehicle, the spacecraft, the control center, the tracking station, etc. The rules that you operate by depend upon your point of view and where you are in the overall system.