When attempting to place a simple call back home, back in 2019 Dutch astronaut André Kuipers made a cosmic but very relatable error.
To make calls from the International Space Station, astronauts have to punch in 9, followed by 011 to connect them to an international line. Kuipers just missed out one, very crucial number – a mistake that NASA’s Johnson Space Center weren’t very happy about after their alarms were triggered.
Dutch astronaut André Kuipers accidentally dialled 911 when attempting to call back home. It wasn’t even a butt dial, but NASA still weren’t impressed.
“The next day I received an email message: Did you call 911?” the 60-year-old astronaut told Dutch radio show Met Het Oog Op Morgen. NASA’s response after this email is unknown, but it’s safe to assume that they had much bigger fish to fry and let it slide as a simple accident.
This isn’t the first time the ISS has seen a misdial, with British astronaut Tim Peake confessing his mistake back in 2015. “I’d like to apologise to the lady I just called by mistake saying ‘Hello, is this planet Earth?’ – not a prank call…just a wrong number,” Peake tweeted after the incident.
Turns out that phone calls from the great beyond have surprisingly good quality, with the connections relying on communication satellites and internet protocol. Whilst facing the obvious challenges of delays and unpredictable connectivity, this “Space Skype” is used by astronauts to call loved ones, read e-books, and catch up on some quality Netflix.
Check out some other hilarious mistakes made by our spacey friends below:
@astro_timpeake Ha, ha! I called 911 once by mistake :-) Merry Christmas!
— Samantha Cristoforetti (@AstroSamantha) December 25, 2015