"Check his pulse one more time."

False Alarm

If you heard that emergency alarm on the International Space Station (ISS), no you didn't!

As NBC reports, NASA was forced to issue an apology after it accidentally broadcasted the audio of an emergency drill yesterday — which was actually taking place during a training simulation back on Earth — over a routine ISS livestream.

"There is no emergency situation going on aboard the International Space Station," NASA tweeted last night from its official space station account, noting that all NASA astronauts onboard the ISS were safely sleeping at the time of the accidental alarm.

"This audio was inadvertently misrouted from an ongoing simulation," the post continued, "where crew members and ground teams train for various scenarios in space and is not related to a real emergency."

In a word: oops!

The Bends

According to NBC, the mistakenly telecasted simulation was designed to replicate an emergency health crisis, giving listeners the impression that one of NASA's ISS crewmembers may have been experiencing decompression sickness (DCS). Commonly associated with scuba diving, DCS — or the bends, as it's colloquially known — can occur when the environment around a human loses pressure very quickly, in turn causing small bubbles of depressurized gas to develop in their blood. This can cause blockages in the bloodstream, which can quickly turn deadly.

So, yes, if this were to happen to someone onboard the ISS, it would warrant emergency action. And the alarm itself — a piece of it can be heard here in a clip shared by Space.com — is undeniably spooky.

"Check his pulse one more time," urged the voice narrating the drill, as quoted by NBC. She then advised other crewmembers to get the injured person into a suit full of pure oxygen as soon as possible, ominously reporting that she was concerned there were "some severe DCS hits."

"Unfortunately, the prognosis for Commander is relatively tenuous," the voice added, according to NBC. At one point, she suggested that the crew might need to make an emergency evacuation back to Earth in order to get "Commander" to a hyperbaric chamber — basically, a pressurized tube chock-full of pure oxygen, beloved by biohackers, professional athletes, and astronauts experiencing DCS.

In sum? No need to worry, folks. The ISS crew is safe and sound, and in the last 24 hours, the only emergency onboard the station was a "spacesuit discomfort issue" that postponed this morning's scheduled spacewalk.

More on recent ISS emergencies: Boeing Starliner Stuck on Space Station as More Leaks Discovered

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