The Mission Specialist is the Mission Control staffer who is to take over if the Flight Director is absent or incapacitated. This member of Mission Control should always be preforming one of the other necessary duties. This staffer should be selected before a shift begins by the Mission Control Commander rather than by the Flight Director, unlike all other staff positions.
While the Mission Specialist should always pay attention to his or her assigned duties, it is necessary that the work of the Flight Director also be observed. The Mission Specialist should always be able to offer advice and lend aid to the Flight Director.
In the event that the Flight Director is unable to retain command, the Mission Specialist should step in and assume power only if the Flight Director agrees. The Flight Director should notify all of Mission Control of the change of authority, and should immediately assume a subordinate position or exit the premises. It is essential that during this time the staffers answer to the Mission Specialist, but the Flight Director retains the authority to override all decisions much in the same way that the Mission Control Commander can override the Flight Director. While the Mission Specialist is in charge, both the scheduled Flight Director and the Mission Control Commander retain the power to remove the Mission Specialist from command. Should the Mission Specialist desire to be relieved of command, he or she may pass it on to the next most senior person present in Mission Control.
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