False depressurization caution alarms sounded on the International Space Station last night just after 8:30 p.m. EST waking the shuttle and station crew. The flight control teams on the ground were able to determine there was no depressurization occurring. The crew was never in any danger and ventilation fans were shutoff as a precaution. That shutoff kicked up dust that resulted in a fire alarm in the European Columbus laboratory also sounding.
By 9:15 p.m., the flight control teams in Houston were working to bring the station back into its normal configuration, and Atlantis’ crew was told it could go back to sleep. The space station crew members were required to stay up a bit longer as the station’s ventilation system was reactivated. That work took a little over an hour, after which the station crew was able to resume its sleep period as well. Flight control teams are looking into the cause of the initial false alarm.