CAPCOM (procedures)

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CAPCOM is the Capsule Communications Officer. CAPCOM is a common staff position, and as such is found in both Mission Control and in the Habitat.


Communicate with a second CAPCOM to ensure communications between Mission Control and the Habitat through audio means.


At any given time, there should only be one officer operating communications between Mission Control and the Habitat. CAPCOM is the priority communications position, and the communications officer should preferentially man CAPCOM over AUXCOM.


When CAPCOM initiates contact with the second party, they must introduce themselves with the template:
"_______ this is _______. Do you read? Over."
where the blanks should be replaced with appropriate callsigns (MC, HAB).

Comm Check

If no communications occur between the Habitat and Mission Control for 2 minutes, then a comm check should be initiated.
A comm check consists of the phrase "_______ this is _______. Comm check. Over."
where the blanks should be replaced with appropriate callsigns (MC, HAB). The comm check should be repeated at 30s intervals until communications are re-established.

If after 2 minutes of comm checks, no response is received, report the failure to reply to the flight director/habitat commander, and continue with comm check.

Loss of Communication

If, after 4 minutes of comm check, no response is received. It should be assumed that loss of communication has ocurred, and CAPCOM should proceed to Loss of Communication procedures.


Following receipt of a comm check request, CAPCOM should respond.
"_______ this is _______. We read you. Over."
where the blanks should be replaced with appropriate callsigns (MC, HAB).

Standard Flight and Emergency Procedure

Under normal Mission Control operations, the Capsule Communications Officer communicates all information relayed from other stations, including the Flight Director, to the Habitat CapCom. Under no circumstances is the CapCom to make independent decisions concerning launch or flight operations. The CapCom also relays the astronauts' current jobs to the Habitat at the beginning of each scheduled shift.

  • Notify the Flight Director of everything you are told. Only say what you are told to say by the Flight Director.
  • Be concise and pertinent. (This isn't a chat on the telephone.)

Standard Phrases

Whenever possible, the CapCom is to use the following expressions in communications with the Habitat CapCom:

  • Roger / Copy: Acknowledged.
  • Affirmative: Yes.
  • Negative: No.
  • Alpha Evacuation: Full Habitat evacuation.
  • Beta Evacuation: Modular evacuation.
  • Over: Message finished.
  • Over and Out: Communications finished.

Numbers and Letters

Though, ideally, complex orders could be sent via AUXCOM there are certain procedures for communicating numbers and letters clearly over CAPCOM. The numbers five and nine are pronounced "fife" and "niner" respectively and the Phonetic Alphabet is to be used at all times.