Lately, there has been a trend among non-JSC control centers (specifically, both the NASA JPL Mars Curiosity and the SpaceX teams) of what seems to be a little too much over-the-top exuberance when things that *should* happen… happen.
Yes – there have been examples in history of the JSC Mission Control teams breaking out with handshakes, cigars, and flags… but those were saved for MISSION COMPLETE – not “okay, we’ve just accomplished what we were supposed to do.”
The Apollo 11 MCC team gave themselves about 30 seconds of acknowledgement, but realized they still had a substantial task ahead of them, and the real celebration – as it should have been – was saved for splashdown.
I believe that it’s, in large part, due to the real-time social media aspect of information sharing these days – turning cameras-in-the-control-room into live podcasts and instant-celebrity-making out of whomever happens to be in front of the camera. I’ve seen too much hamming-it-up, knowing that they’re going to be on Ye Olde Interwebbes as an immediately-distributed meme… and sometimes, that’s just too much temptation to pass up.
I worry that, at some point in the future if this is not addressed, some Flight Controller on some manned mission, or an unmanned mission to a manned spacecraft (are you listening SpaceX?), will get too preoccupied by mugging to the camera in his face and lose sight of his job… and realize after the fact that his/her performance just led to those “ultimate consequences” with which we JSC Flight Controllers have all too much experience.
Bottom line: “Act like you’ve been there before.”