NASA says no emergency onboard ISS after ‘disturbing’ medical drill accidentally airs

The simulated medical emergency was aired over NASA's livestream.

A NASA livestream that seemed to indicate a medical emergency on the International Space Station on Wednesday evening sparked concern for the crew after it aired.

The space agency was forced to deny any trouble onboard the ISS after a drill that simulated a crew member in medical distress prompted a flood of concern on social media.

“There is no emergency situation going on aboard the International Space Station,” NASA’s ISS account posted on X. “Audio was inadvertently misrouted from an ongoing simulation where crew members and ground teams train for various scenarios in space.”

Concern grew for some when, at 5:30 p.m. CDT on Wednesday, footage from NASA’s ISS livestream was replaced with a message that the feed had been “temporarily interrupted” and that the video would return when the “connection is reestablished.”

Then, viewers could hear a person who appeared to be giving advice related to a serious emergency involving a “commander” who was experiencing decompression sickness.

“So if we could get the commander back in his suit, get it sealed … for suited hyperbaric treatment … Prior to sealing, closing the visor and pressurizing the suit, I would like you to check his pulse one more time,” said the speaker, who identified herself as a flight surgeon working at the SpaceX mission control center in Hawthorne, California.

Soon after, the “commander’s” condition deteriorated and the flight surgeon had some concerning comments.

“I am concerned that there are some severe DCS [decompression sickness] hits … unfortunately, the prognosis for commander is relatively tenuous,” the unnamed flight surgeon said.

While some seemed to realize it was a drill, others on social media expressed concern for the crew members.

SpaceX later clarified that what viewers heard was a test taking place in California and that all training crew were “safe and healthy” and in their “sleep period.”

“All remain healthy and safe, and tomorrow’s spacewalk will start at 8am EDT as planned,” NASA said in its statement.

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