NASA Confirms Emergency On The ISS Was A Leaked Training Exercise Audio

13th Jun 2024
NASA Confirms Emergency On The ISS Was A Leaked Training Exercise Audio

On 12th June, at around 5:28 p.m. CDT, a NASA live stream from the International Space Station (ISS) accidentally broadcasted an audio, temporarily causing concern for the crew’s safety on Earth. Later, NASA denied the emergency on the ISS, which turned out to be a training exercise.

What Was Heard In The Audio?

The audio from the live stream was posted to X (Twitter), causing panic among social media users and viewers. In the clip, a speaker talks about getting the commander “back in his suit” for hyperbaric treatment and oxygen after “severe DCS hits.”

“Unfortunately, the prognosis for the commander is relatively tenuous, I’ll say, to keep it generic,” the speaker was heard saying.

The speakers also discussed finding the best hospital for the patient after splashdown. They mentioned a facility in Spain that offers critical care and hyperbaric treatment.

What Is DCS?

Decompression sickness (DCS) is a serious risk for astronauts in space. It happens when astronauts move too quickly from a high-pressure environment to a low-pressure one. 

Inside the ISS, the air is similar to Earth’s atmosphere. But outside the ISS, there’s almost no pressure. If an astronaut goes from inside to outside without proper protection, like a sealed spacesuit, or if there’s a big hole in the ISS, they can get DCS.

DCS occurs because the body’s gases dissolve in the blood and tissues. When pressure decreases suddenly, these gases, mostly nitrogen, form bubbles that can block blood vessels, damage tissue, and cause pain. Severe cases can even be fatal. 

This risk isn’t just in space; divers who come up too fast from deep water can also get DCS, known as “the bends”.

Message About Emergency On The ISS Rapidly Spread

Hundreds of people were watching the NASA live stream on YouTube when the simulation continued, and the “commander’s” condition seemed to worsen.

Several popular space accounts rapidly drew attention to the incident on social media. One user described it as “odd and disturbing.”

NASA Confirmed No Emergency On The ISS

But later, NASA clarified that it was a test apparently happening in California and that all training crew were “safe and healthy”. 

Additionally, NASA confirmed on X that the simulation was unrelated to any actual emergency on ISS and that the crew members were indeed in their “sleep period” when the drill inadvertently aired.

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