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Im very much pleased to be able to share with you our work and observation.

Im JaeGang Jang, a doctoral student studying sociology at University Bielefeld, Germany. The co-presenter is Mr. Jrg Bergman, the moderator of this session and faculty of department of sociology, University Bielefeld. This presentation bases on a part of my dissertation project being strived under his supervision. The radio-channel, through which the communications between Mission Control on the Earth and Astronauts on the Moon are fulfilled, was a part of more extensive and complex communication network used in manned space flight. Todays presentation is among others devoted to the communication between astronauts on the Moon and CapCom in the Mission Control Center on the earth through the so called Air-toGround Loop Let me introduce some organizational and technical features of it. Among the workers in Mission Control Center, only CamCom is allowed to speak with Astronauts during ordinary communication. It can be said that the CapCom serves as a kind of animator in Goffmanian sense. That is to say, Misson-Participants working distributed in- and outside Mission Control Center can talk to astronauts only through the mouth of the CapCom. The communication system used by these communicants had two configurations. These are Push-to-Talk (PTT) and Voice-Operated-Switching (VOX) mode respectively. CapCom uses Push-to-Talk mode only. When he speaks to astronauts, he operates a switch like walky-talky. This switch produces short beep tons named Quindar Tons each time it is pushed and released. Quindar Tons were used for activating and deactivating the transmission facilities of relay-stations scattered on the Earth. These tons are marked in our transcripts with (q). Astronauts use Push-to-Talk Mode as well but their system didnt produce Quindar-Tons. VOX mode is used exclusively by astronauts when they cant use their hands for operating switch. For example they use this communication mode during Extra-Vehicular-Activities (EVA). During early days of manned spaceflight the radio-communication through the Air-toGround Loop was recorded from ignition of spacecrafts to the landing. Recording of air-to-ground loop is made mainly on the Earth. Even though the spacecrafts and onboard recorders, the capacity was very limited. These audio-tapes made in Mission Control Center were used on-site in Mission Control Center for real-time mission evaluation. These Audio-tapes were transcribed verbatim on site by typists shortly after audio tapes became available. The transcripts were released to press announcement as well. You can see here a small segment of these transcripts. 1

There is another extensive archive which deals with communication through air-toground loop. Around the middle of 1990s, a web based platform named Apollo Lunar Surface Journal (ALSJ) was launched as part of the NASAs oral history project. Preparing this website on the basis of original NASA audio tapes and transcripts, extensive interviews with Apollo astronauts were accompanied. What you have in handout (on page 2) is a screen shot of this website. Last but not least, one of the most important features of this air-to-ground loop was transmission-delay. Due to the distance between the Moon and the Earth, there is 2.5 seconds round trip-transmission-delay. For convenience, we could imagine a very simple question-answer sequence. Suppose that a question of an astronaut is answered by a CapCom promptly and this sequence is tape recorded in the MOCR, the question was actually spoken by astronauts 1.25 seconds earlier and they cannot hear the answer of CapCom until 1.25 seconds later. That is to say, what is experienced by CapCom in the MOCR as a prompt question-answer adjacency pair is experienced by astronauts as one with 2.5 pause. But only with records made in MOCR, it is not easy to conceive, how the sequences will be experienced by astronauts on the Moon and its orbit. So we ventured to reconstruct turn-taking organization on the Moon on the basis of digitalized NASA audio tapes which is available in the ALSJ. Let me show you the processing procedure. First, a digitalized original audio-record is downloaded from the ALSJ and imported to an audio-processing program. Sequences interested are selected and sorted out for reconstruction-process. Second, turns spoken by CapCom are sorted out by muting turns spoken by astronauts. Because we couldnt get double-track records which register up and down channel separately, it was sometimes very hard to divide overlapped voices clearly. Where separation is not easy to attain and for this reason results are not satisfactory, the original voice is erased completely and replaced by voice of one of presenters. This process is repeated in order to filter turns of astronauts. Through this process, two tracks are prepared for further processing. The next step is combining these two filtered tracks. Considering the consequences of transmission-delay on turn-displacement, the turns spoken by astronauts are pushed 1.25 seconds forward and those spoken by CapCom are moved 1.25 seconds backward. Now you get a reconstructed audio segment which enable us to infer more 2

or less accurately, how astronauts heard and spoke on the Moon. On the basis of this reconstructed audio segments transcripts were produced. From now on three episodes selected will be examined. For convenience I will use present tense when I describe and comment on activities of people involved. Episode 1: Turns Disembedded In transcript, LMP is an abbreviation of Lunar Module Pilot, CapCom is as mentioned Capsule Communicator, and CDR is Commander. In this scene two astronauts are doing geological work using penetrometers measuring strength of soil. Now the Lunar Module Pilot (LMP) has just finished a test and prepares another test. Without addressing a recipient explicitly and somewhat monologically the LMP mentions about the location of the test, and indexing number, and what he is going to do next.(Line 14) To this mention of LMP, the CapCom bestows positive comment (Beautiful in line 15). And subsequently the CapCom turns to CDR and requires him to check whether the film of the camera was run out, if he is now at Lunar Rover. Here, some background information must be given about cameras carried to the Moon. Many cameras were used in Extra Vehicular Activities. Each Astronaut carried camera attached on chest of their space suits. And a Data Aquisition Camera (DAC) was mounted on Lunar Rover. These cameras were all cameras filled with film-magazine. Now, lets take a look at how this request of the CapCom is formulated. The CapCom says in line 15, 16 you might check your film mag if youre back at the rover now. Considering there were more than one camera with film magazine, it could be ambiguous, which film magazine the CapCom means with the expression of your film mag. The pronoun your could be used in English either as genitive of singular you or as that of plural you. That is to say your film mag can be understood as either a film magazine of the CDRs camera or a film magazine of DAC on astronauts side. Even though there was another hint, with which one can infer that the camera has to do with LRV (Line 16: If youre back at the rover now), it is not clear yet, which film magazine it might be. This expression is indexical and can be understood differently according to situations. This turn of CapCom is followed by 2.5 seconds silence. (Line 18) As it is well known to students of human interaction, such silences after request, in other words the first pair part of an adjacency pair, are inference rich. As a sequentially relevant second pair part for request one can expect among others an affirmation like yes 3

sir as preferred second pair part. Considering this, the 2.5 seconds silence in line 18 could be understood as hesitation of recipient due to ambiguity of CapComs request. Furthermore, in technically mediated communication situation like this, even the possibility of network breakdown cannot be totally excluded from consideration. Anyhow 2.5 seconds later, not getting a second pair part from the Commander, the CapCom speaks further. The CapCom tries to repair a possible ambiguity of his indexical expression and avoid misunderstanding by mentioning the name of camera, DAC. At this moment the CDR abruptly breaks in saying no, it wouldnt have run out by now Joe. To this report, the CapCom gives no affirmation. After 2 seconds silence, the CDR says this time all of sudden thats what Im saying. It is unclear which turn this turn of Commander can be related to. Sequentially this turn seems to be out of the blue. Lets take a look at the turn-taking organization for this segment on the Moon. First, the affirmation Roger of the CapCom in line 5 is on earth sequentially related to the turn of LMP Im bottomed up . Due to transmission-delay it is placed in different sequential environment on the Moon. It is now placed as if it was related to LMPs turn on line 3,4 and even this is overlapped by LMPs turn in line 6 which is addressed to CDR (line 4 dave). It would be heard strange if someone, lets say a person A, report something addressing a person B but gets affirmation from C who is not addressed. Next, lets take a look at line 20, on the line 20 after having been requested by the CapCom to check film magazine, the CDR replies promptly without hesitation (no, it wouldnt have run out by now Joe). Guessing from this prompt answer to the request of information, it seems that the CDR has confidence that he understands which camera the CapCom asked to check and at the same time he show, through this turn, how he understood the request of CapCom. in his formulation, the camera is denoted with a pronoun it whose reference is ambiguous as well. And then, almost latched, the CDR hears from the CapCom an identification of the camera by naming it (and Im talking about the DAC). (line 21) As you know this reformulation of the camera was made on the Earth, in situation in which the CapCom got no answers after his request for about 2.5 seconds. To the CapCom in the Mission Control Center the reformulation is necessary step to prevent or repair possible misunderstanding. But it becomes a kind of redundant reiteration for the CDR on the Moon, because it is placed after the proper answer of the CDR (line21). Actually the CDR react to it with thats what Im saying (line 23) perhaps without knowing that the CapCom on the Earth 4

has said this turn (Im talking about the DAC) in different sequential environment, in which the CapCom didnt hear his answer no. it wouldnt have run out by now Joe yet. EPISODE 2: Communication disorder-whose responsibility? In this scene two astronauts are gathering rocks together. The Commander inspects and describes the appearance of the rock that they are sampling. When the inspection and description of a rock seem to be finished and the commander instruct the Lunar module pilot to look something, at line 17, the CapCom addressed the Commander and require (or remind) him to give a bag number which the sampled rock will be put in. (line 17) During Apollo Lunar Landing Missions, while sampling, the astronauts put the samples in numbered bags they were carrying with and informed Houston numbers of bags every time they filled one. As the CapCom started his turn at line 17, a voice from astronaut was arrived all of sudden and clipped with the Quindar Ton triggered by the CapCom. (line 18) Even though the Commander seems to have mentioned a bag number (line 19) these are not easy to discern. After 2 seconds silence the commander seems to move to another location where another sample might be gathered next. (line 21-23) After 2 seconds have passed the CapCom reminds this time the LMP (Jim) that Houston are waiting for report of the bag number. This second request is cut in by the commander saying to the LMP. (line 26-27) After 1.5 seconds the commander and the LMP starts to speak simultaneously. The Commander says that they gave the bag number, while the LMP reports the bag number required by CapCom. And subsequently, almost immediately, the commander says with somewhat anger in his voice that they have given the number but the CapCom blocked their report of the bag number. Without apologizing or any other comments on it, the CapCom answers it with a very short gratitude thank you. Even when we take the fact into consideration that there was at line 17-18 almost simultaneous start of turns, it is uncertain whether the CapCom deserves to be accused by the Commander for his blocking astronauts turn (report of bag number). To understand in what sequential context the Commander accuses the CapCom, lets take a look at how turns are organized on the Moon. With the help of reconstructed version it can be roughly estimated where the report of the bag number is given by astronauts. At line 17-18 the commander gives the bag number. And the request of the CapCom is heard immediately after this report, as though the CapCom mishears or disregards (ignores) the report of the commander due to some reasons which 5

astronauts may not know exactly. It can be even said that it is rather the Commander who is mishearing or disregarding the CapComs request of a bag number. Without answering to the request, 2 seconds later, the Commander shows interest in possible next sample, (line 21-25) which is followed by the second time request of the CapCom which could be heard as pressing or urging an answer. To this, after short silence the astronauts react simultaneously but in different fashions. The Commander, who gave bag number before it was requested, says that they have given the CapCom the information. And the LMP, who is newly addressed by the CapCom (line 26), gives the bag number without any further comments on the CapComs doubled, seemingly redundant, and not clearly understandable requests. CONCLUDING REMARK

As clarified at the beginning, audio-records and transcripts of NASA produced for special (institutional) usage couldnt satisfy our research interest in their original forms. Audio-Data recorded in the MOCR and verbatim transcripts of them were produced for the purpose of conserving what was done. In this sense the shape of the NASA-audio data and original NASA transcripts could be treated not just as bad (or flawed) data for researcher like us, but also in itself as object of analysis, as late Harold Garfinkel hinted in his work Good organizational reason for bad clinic records. But to develop this implication further is beyond scope of this presentation.

To fulfill research interest of the presenters, these transcripts had to be reworked in accordance with conversation analytic transcription conventions, which make it possible to access, how tasks were accomplished by communicative practices of misson-participants on earth and on the moon. Considering transmission-delay, one of the most unique features of this communication network, and trying to see interactional phenomena from the astronauts point of view, a kind of reconstruction of their sequential environment was exercised.

With the help of this reconstruction, it was possible to observe that interactional disorders occurred in Air-to-Ground Loop were occurred not by breaching of interaction-organizational-rule and machineries, but rather generated by orienting to the selfsame rules and machineries which make
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possible ordered interactions in face-to-face interaction or interaction mediated by audio-communication media without transmission-delay. In other words, the very supposition of reciprocity of perspective (Schtz), which is a bedrock of intersubjective understanding and coordination of activities, becomes in some cases rather source of irritation. The natural attitude of interlocutors does not work in the interaction via communication media with transmission-delay. It seems difficult to take the perspective of others on the other side of communication network in order to align their communicative works to them. To use the terminology of Alfred Schtz one more time, the supposition and accomplishment of mutual vivid reality (Schtz 1945 p.543) is not easy task in this interaction environment.

As we glimpsed with help of two episodes, the transmission-delay continuously impedes the flow of interaction and recurrently produces phenomena of disorder in the turn-taking and sequential organization. Due to the signal delay astronauts as well as CapCom face the problem that utterances occur "out of context". Responses to utterances are based on an understanding of how the others' activities are heard here without knowing their interactional context down/up 'there'. Turns taken by interlocutors on each side are embedded (located) in different sequential environment.

An ongoing interaction is held up, initiations of interactions don't get any sequentially relevant reaction, and repair attempts have to cope with the very same delay condition and are cumbersome, which may account for the fact that instances of interactional disorder are not normalized promptly and easily by using the methods and techniques which we are accustomed to and rely on to prevent, detour and repair interactional disorders in our everyday life without transmission delay.

Given that the turn-taking organization is a crucial machinery that secures intersubjective understanding, the disorderliness caused by the transmission delay may seriously interfere with the smooth, timely and successful fulfillment of minutely planed work. It is a little astonishing that there was no systematic
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training for astronauts during early manned space flight which enable them to cope with this hostile environment.