NASA Freaks Everyone Out By Broadcasting Audio Of Astronaut With Simulated Decompression Sickness

Photo: NASA
Photo: NASA

NASA confirmed that audio from a simulation channel dedicated to dealing with disaster scenarios was inadvertently broadcast Wednesday on its YouTube channel. The audio indicated that an astronaut was in distress onboard the International Space Station with a tenuous chance of survival, a terrifying scenario for enthusiasts following the feed.

The clip featured a female flight surgeon in the Solar System’s scariest conference call. She seemingly talked the ISS crew through a crisis in which the station’s commander was suffering from decompression sickness, more commonly known as the bends. It is most often encountered with underwater divers returning to the surface, but can also be experienced by astronauts returning from spacewalks. She strongly recommended that the crew put the commander in his space suit for emergency treatment in preparation for an evacuation back to Earth.

Thankfully, the space agency confirmed there was no emergency situation. All the crew members were healthy and safe in the middle of their designated sleep period. NASA explained that audio from an ongoing training simulation was mistakenly rerouted to the YouTube feed.


However, everything hasn’t been fine onboard the ISS. The first crewed Boeing Starliner flight to the station was delayed due to a helium leak on the spacecraft. More helium leaks appeared when it finally climbed to orbit last week. Then, the Starliner’s first docking attempt with the station had to be called off because of malfunctioning reaction-control thrusters. NASA should hopefully be prepared if there is any serious issue with the Starliner.

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