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Space station scare leads NASA to reassure public

Anadolu Agency WORLD
Published June 14,2024
(Photo Credit: @NASA, X)

U.S. space agency officials scrambled to reassure the public after a broadcast seemingly of astronauts in orbit left viewers fearing the worst.

"There is no emergency situation going on aboard the International Space Station," NASA said Thursday on its X account.

The clarification came after audio from a medical drill, simulating a scenario involving an astronaut with decompression sickness, was accidentally included in a live feed from the station.

"Check his pulse one more time," said a voice from an unidentified speaker, likely a flight surgeon, at 6.28 pm ET (2228GMT) during a scheduled livestream.

In fact, the voice was demonstrating steps for the treatment of a stricken astronaut.

The agency explained that the audio had been mistakenly routed from a ground-based simulation channel and that there was no onboard emergency.

"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," NASA clarified.

"The International Space Station crew members were in their sleep period at the time. All remain healthy and safe," it added.

Last week, a pair of astronauts aboard Boeing's Starliner capsule successfully completed docking maneuvers with the station.