Communications Failure (emergency procedures)
Communications may have been disrupted by ion, lightning, sand storms on the planetary surface, or any other form of severe environmental system. If this is the case, attempt to re-establish contact with Mission Control at thirty second intervals. Communications should be possible once the storm has abated. If communications are lost after a meteor strike or shower, it is likely that the TCS dish has been damaged. Once you are certain the meteor shower is over, an EVA (P2.1) should be performed to examine the dishes and repair them if necessary.
Attempt to maintain contact via AUXCOM. Confirm that all of the headsets are functional. If all of the radio headsets functional, but not receiving/transmitting, the problem is an interference issue. Continue attempting to re-establish contact every 30 seconds. If the audio output via the speakers is not functional, first insure that it is powered. A green LED on the front of the power supply, and the red 'low batt' light on the radio itself should be lit. If powered,check to make sure that the speaker input wires (the two thick solid bare copper wires that merges into a thick white one) are secured both to the speaker, and to the speaker input wire (the green ones). Test this connection with a multimeter if necessary. if not powered, insert a 9-V battery into the emergency power supply for the radio, and re-do the above procedures again.
Visual Link Failure
If a single camera or TV goes down, it is most likely faulty. Push the orange button on its console. Failing this, contact Mission Control for the resident Camera Specialist (usually Tech Director or Camera team member) and receive instructions for replacement. If all the cameras go down, check the TCS dish as in P3.4.1.
If AUXCOM goes down, but CAPCOM is still online, it could be a network packet error. Interplanetary networks have a good chance of losing large numbers of network packets. Co-ordinate with Mission Control to re-establish the link through the INCO (or CAPCOM and talk if the INCO's software is not working).
Total Message Loss
If CAPCOM and AUXCOM are down, use the Cameras and American Sign Language to inform mission control of your situation. (A poster detailing the ASL alphabet should be on the wall during any mission.) If it is not and none of the astronauts or Mission Control know ASL, write on paper and hold it up. The Flight Director will give a “thumbs up” if he can understand or “thumbs down” if he cannot. Mission Control is to respond in a similar manner, writing on paper. If prolonged loss of messages occurs, the Camera System can be rigged for audio transmission, but this should be avoided at all costs, as the connection is bad and causes feedback.
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