The TET is far enough away from Earth that the crew goes into suspended animation for the initial travel to it. This initial travel is either automated or controlled from Earth. After waking up, the crew speak conversationally with their mission controller Sally.
This conversation between Jack, Vika, and [actual human] Sally happens over a small 2d video communication system. The panel in the middle of the Odyssey’s control panel shows Sally and a small section of Mission Control, presumably back on Earth. Sally confirms with Jack that the readings Earth is getting from the Odyssey remotely are what is actually happening on site.
Soon after, mission control is able to respond immediately to Jack’s initial OMS burn and let him know that he is over-stressing the ship trying to escape the TET. Jack is then able to make adjustments (cut thrust) before the stress damages the Odyssey.
Communication between Odyssey and the Earth happens in real-time. When you look at the science of it all, this is more than a little surprising. Continue reading
The TETVision display is the only display Vika is shown interacting with directly—using gestures and controls—whereas the other screens on the desktop seem to be informational only. This screen is broken up into three main sections:
- The left side panel
- The main map area
- The right side panel
The left side panel
The communications status is at the top of the left side panel and shows Vika the status of whether the desktop is online or offline with the TET as it orbits the Earth. Directly underneath this is the video communications feed for Sally.
Beneath Sally’s video feed is the map legend section, which serves the dual purposes of providing data transfer to the TET and to the Bubbleship as well as a simple legend for the icons used on the map.
The communications controls, which are at the bottom of the left side panel, allow Vika to toggle the audio communications with Jack and with Sally. Continue reading
Jack communicates with Vika via the HUD in the Bubbleship, and a small earbud that provides two-way audio.
He talks normally to Vika, who responds in kind. There is no visible confirmation of his connection to Vika, and no obvious way for him to send information back other than the sound of his voice.
As shown during the lightning strike sequence, Jack’s earbud is connected directly to the Bubbleship. All of his audio and telemetry requires the Bubbleship to connect with Vika’s control tower. When the Bubbleship’s power goes out, Jack’s communication is cut too. Continue reading