False Alarm? NASA Says Accidental Emergency Broadcast Was Just A Drill But Cancels Spacewalk

NASA was compelled to issue an apology after accidentally broadcasting an emergency drill audio during a routine livestream of the International Space Station (ISS). The alarming audio, which was part of a training simulation taking place on Earth, left viewers concerned about the well-being of the astronauts onboard the ISS.

The simulated scenario involved a medical emergency, with a crew member apparently experiencing decompression sickness (DCS), also known as “the bends.” The drill depicted a dire situation, with the “commander’s” prognosis described as “relatively tenuous.” 

The voice in the simulation urged the crew to take immediate action, suggesting that an emergency evacuation back to Earth might be necessary to treat the affected individual in a hyperbaric chamber.

NASA quickly responded to the growing speculation on social media, reassuring the public that there was no actual emergency on the ISS and that all astronauts were safe and sound, sleeping at the time of the accidental broadcast. The space agency explained that the audio had been “inadvertently misrouted” from the ongoing simulation.

Fanning the flame, the spacewalk that was scheduled shortly after the mishap was postponed due to a “spacesuit discomfort issue.” The timing and the somewhat vague reason (not to mention the hundreds of thousands of hours of outer space fiction) made people wonder if there was an actual emergency onboard.

Space fans and concerned citizens will have to wait over a week, as the next scheduled spacewalk will be on June 24 and then on July 2. 

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