A NASA drill to evacuate an injured astronaut to a hospital in Spain sows chaos

A NASA drill to evacuate an injured astronaut to a hospital in Spain sows chaos
A NASA drill to evacuate an injured astronaut to a hospital in Spain sows chaos

A evacuation drill issued in error by NASA led the space agency to deny the existence of an emergency situation this Thursday due to the commotion generated by its dissemination.

“At approximately 22:28 UTC (June 12) audio was broadcast on NASA’s live feed from a ground simulation audio channel indicating that a crew member was experiencing effects related to decompression sickness.” (DCS). “This audio inadvertently deviated from an ongoing simulation where crew members and ground crews are training for various scenarios in space and is not related to an actual emergency,” NASA reported on its X account in response to news and reports on social media about a emergency situation in space.

In the simulation audio, which aired for about eight minutes on the company’s live broadcast channels International Space Station (ISS) From NASA, a flight surgeon can be heard giving advice on how to treat an astronaut affected by decompression sickness. The specialist advises the Station crew to put the astronaut back in his spacesuit quickly and with pure oxygen, while she also shares details of a hospital in Spain, specifically that of San Carlos, in San Fernando (Cádiz)for emergency hypobaric treatment after returning to Earth with an ocean splashdown.

“Unfortunately, the forecast for the commander is pretty limited, I would say, to keep it generic,” the anonymous flight surgeon says in the simulation audio. Later, he added that he was still an hour from Mission Control and stuck in a traffic jam.

Potential risk

The decompression sickness It is a very real danger for astronauts in space, as they live in a pressurized habitat surrounded by the harsh airless environment of space. During spacewalks, astronauts in pressurized spacesuits exit the ISS by depressurizing its airlock and opening an exterior hatch. They reenter by closing the hatch behind them, repressurizing the airlock, and opening an interior hatch once they reach equilibrium. Only then do they take off the spacesuits, reports Space.com.

NASA emphasizes that at no time was any part of the simulation real, nor was the current ISS crew part of the medical simulation. The crew, which includes three Russian cosmonauts and six NASA astronauts, two of whom arrived last week on Boeing’s first crewed Starliner spacecraft, was not even awake, NASA said.

 
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