Story at a glance:
- Astronauts were told an object was about to hit their capsule.
- The warning turned out to be a false alarm.
- The astronauts safely reached the space station on April 24.
Four astronauts aboard NASA's Crew-2 experienced a false alarm, believing something was about to hit their rocket ship last Friday.
The collision with the unidentified object didn’t happen, but Lt. Colonel Erin Dick, a spokeswoman for Space Command, said the object was going to pass close to the capsule as it travels to the International Space Station, SKY News reported.
"However, we quickly realized this was a reporting error and that there was never a collision threat because there was no object at risk of colliding with the capsule," Dick said.
The false alarm came without a fair warning and took the astronauts by surprise. Usually, astronauts are given a fair amount of notice on the situation, providing time enough for evasion if necessary.
According to officials at Johnson Space Center in Houston, the Space Command's 18th Space Control Squadron alerted NASA about 45 minutes before the potential collision.
Fifteen minutes later, SpaceX and NASA notified the astronauts, urging them to put their suits on right away and lower their helmet visors.
"Of course, we're always happy to hear that there never was a threat, but we're also glad the procedures were in place and the crew would have been ready if the threat had been real," NASA spokesperson Kelly Humphries said.
On April 24, the Dragon capsule and its crew safely arrived at the space station, where they plan on spending six months. The false alarm is currently under investigation.
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