New approaches are being studied for real-time interaction, and related supporting processes, with spacecraft and instruments in deep space. Spacecraft are evolving, improving in many ways, and generally becoming more robust. Operations is changing also, and will be more automated in the future. However, there is a challenge. Deep space missions are not all alike. The operations phases of discovery and exploration are an extension of the research that creates the mission; they are the time of obtaining results. This examines the historical role of flight operations and its evolving processes to develop an understanding of the operational methods that will be effective in the future. It takes people, equipment, software, space, and connectivity for operations success. A balance has to be struck between improving technology, gaining knowledge, automation, and realistic expectations. Finally, the recommended methods to gain efficiency in operations are system-wide services and shared resources. These common processes will meet the challenge of varied missions.