ISS emergency? NASA says it accidentally aired audio of distressed astronaut drill

File: The International Space Station is pictured from the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour during a fly-around of the orbiting lab that took place following its undocking from the Harmony module’s space-facing port on Nov. 8, 2021. The orbital complex w

NASA confirmed that there was "no emergency situation" aboard the International Space Station on Wednesday after audio of a medical drill was accidentally played on a public livestream channel, prompting concern on social media

The audio was broadcast on NASA's live YouTube channel and listeners could hear a voice giving advice on how to treat a crew member for decompression sickness, according to and other reports.

The flight surgeon could be heard instructing crew members to put the "commander back in his suit," and provide him with oxygen – with the prognosis described as "rather tenuous," reported. The flight surgeon also shared details for a hospital in Spain for emergency hyperbaric treatment after returning to Earth, and noted that she was still an hour away from Mission Control and stuck in traffic, according to reports. 

The simulation audio, which reportedly ran for about eight minutes, fueled concern among space enthusiasts online. NASA later confirmed the audio had accidentally aired and there was no emergency happening aboard the ISS.

"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)," the International Space Station wrote on its official X account

"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," it added. 

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

The medical drill came ahead of a scheduled NASA spacewalk with two astronauts on Thursday morning, which was later postponed due to "a spacesuit discomfort issue."

This story was reported from Cincinnati.