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Payload Telescience Operations Centre

The Payload Telescience Operations Centre (PTOC) of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is located at CSA headquarters in Longueuil, Quebec.

Scientists and engineers use this facility to support astronauts as they conduct Canadian science experiments on board the International Space Station (ISS).

Two people in the Payload Telescience Operations Centre

The Payload Telescience Operations Centre, or PTOC, at CSA headquarters supports real-time operations involving Canadian payloads, including science experiments, onboard the ISS. (Credit: CSA)

The role of scientists and engineers on Earth

The team at the PTOC is generally composed of three people:

They are often assisted by visiting researchers from all over Canada.

From the PTOC, the team on the ground:

Two employees at the Payload Telescience Operations Centre

Credit: CSA

How ISS science is supported from Earth

When an astronaut participates in Canadian science on board the Space Station, the support team on Earth:

  1. reviews the process before the activities take place on board.
  2. simulates the sequence of operations to ensure that all systems are working properly.
  3. simulates problems or "bugs" that could occur during the experiment, so that everyone is ready to react in case of unexpected events.
  4. supports the astronauts during the real event.

This procedure ensures the achievement of all scientific objectives.

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