NASA Clarifies ‘No Emergency’ After Emergency Drill Broadcast

NASA Clarifies ‘No Emergency’ After Emergency Drill Broadcast June 13, 2024Leave a comment


Social media users grew concerned for astronauts aboard the International Space Station on Wednesday after NASA accidentally broadcast emergency drills simulating treatment for decompression sickness.

At around 6:30 p.m. ET Wednesday, the U.S. space agency's live YouTube channel broadcast audio from the simulation, which led viewers to believe an astronaut was in real distress as a voice ordered crew members to "get commander back in his suit" and provide oxygen, describing the astronaut's condition as "tenuous."

Space watchers reposted the audio on social media, expressing concern. The official ISS account on X, formerly Twitter, which is operated by NASA, later clarified the audio was only part of a simulation.

"There is no emergency situation going on aboard the International Space Station. At approximately 5:28 p.m. CDT, audio was aired on the NASA livestream from a simulation audio channel on the ground indicating a crew member was experiencing effects related to decompression sickness (DCS)," the agency wrote.

"This audio was inadvertently misrouted from an ongoing simulation where crew members and ground teams train for various scenarios in space and is not related to a real emergency. The International Space Station crew members were in their sleep period at the time. All remain healthy and safe, and tomorrow’s spacewalk will start at 8 a.m. EDT as planned," NASA said.

DCS, also known as "the bends," occurs when changes in atmospheric pressure causes gas bubbles in the blood. It is more typically a concern for SCUBA divers surfacing too quickly.

Story via TMX