Before I left for Mars/Utah a friend of mine who trains astronauts asked that we come up with our own set of hand signals for comparison. Without having us look at the official NASA signals, they wanted to get an outside perspective on the issue and potentially incorporate our signals with theirs. And while our signals would be devised primarily for surface use, there is still enough overlap for zero g spacewalks that most of them will remain relevant (some will need modification though).
Before we got started there were some things to consider, namely that spacesuits are hard to move in. They severely limit dexterity so our signals would have to be large, broad, and lack ambiguity. We feel that ours could reasonably be preformed in current or next gen spacesuits.
The set we came up with uses basic nouns, verbs, and adjectives to allow back and forth communications between crew members. For instance, the signal "comm" can be combined with "loss" to indicate "I can't hear." Likewise the signal for "you" can be added to "comm" to ask the question: "Can you hear?" A response of "good" would indicate yes.
With as little as 30 minutes of practice the signals proved to be very useful, it even removed the Spanish / English language barrier we sometimes face. They're also super useful when riding the ATVs out on adventure and we're able to send information back to CAPCOM via the camera on the rover.
The full set is included in the gallery below (modeled by Kavya), along with their descriptions. Check 'em out!
Executive Officer / Acting Engineer and Journalist