NASA causes panic with livestreamed simulation audio

NASA accidentally aired audio from a training simulation on its livestream, causing viewers to believe that a serious emergency was ongoing on the International Space Station. 


In the simulation audio, which ran for about eight minutes on NASA's International Space Station (ISS) livestream channels, a flight surgeon can be heard giving advice on how to treat an astronaut in the throes of decompression sickness. She advises responders to get the astronaut back in his spacesuit quickly and on pure oxygen, while also sharing details for a hospital in Spain for emergency hypobaric treatment after returning to Earth with an ocean splashdown. 

The audio that was broadcast can be heard here.

The ISS X-Twitter account posted this explanation hours later. 

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). 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.

This is not a great look for NASA, with Starliner stuck at the ISS for a few extra days, troubleshooting helium leaks they knew about before launch.  

Previously: Starliner launches two Americans into orbit