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When you dial 911 from space

Drunk dialing, pocket-dialling or butt-dialling are common phenomenons and most of us have experienced it. But what happens when you wrongly dial  someone from out space.

Dutch astronaut André Kuipers who was living onboard the International Space Station (ISS) admitted that he accidentally dialled the US emergency services.

Kuipers’ call saw the US emergency services drop him an email that read, “Did you call 911?”.




The Dutch astronaut now retired recalled his events while being interviewed by a Dutch broadcaster. He is 60 years today, and has spent more than 200 days in space between 2004 and 2012.

Phone calls from the ISS are routed through NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Due to the immense distance the signal is slight delayed by one second.

To make calls from space you have to dial 9 for an outside line, and then 011 for an international line.  Kuipers, however, missed the 0, and ended up calling 911.



This is not the first time that astronauts have made such mistakes.

In 2015, a British astronaut Tim Peake, dialled a wrong number. The call was picked up by a woman, Peake asked, “Hello, is this planet Earth?”. However later Peake apologised on twitter.

 

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