Astronaut accidentally dials 911 from International Space Station

Brittany A. Roston - Jan 4, 2019, 7:04 pm CDT
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Astronaut accidentally dials 911 from International Space Station

A Dutch astronaut accidentally dialed 911 from the International Space Station, according to a Netherlands news report. This wasn’t a butt dial, but instead the accidental omission of one number while attempting to dial for an outside, and then international, line. The process requires astronauts to dial the number “9” for an outside line, followed by “011” for an international line. The zero, unfortunately, was missed.

The amusing mistake was made by Dutch astronaut Andre Kuipers, who talked about the faux pas with Dutch public broadcaster Nederlandse Omroep Stitching. According to the report, Kuipers hung up after missing the “0,” but the call was noted by Mission Control at NASA. The following day, NASA officials sent an email to the ISS asking whether someone had dialed 911.

The call had apparently triggered an alert at NASA, which checked on the room where the call had been issued but found nothing. Kuipers apparently confirmed that emergency services had accidentally been dialed.

The accident was made possible by VoIP phone services that are installed on the International Space Station. Astronauts aboard the floating space lab have been able to make calls to Earth for the better part of a decade thanks to modern Internet voice services, as well as better connectivity in space.

According to NASA, astronauts are able to make calls whenever they’d like, such as to family. This is far from the first time someone has accidentally placed the wrong call from the ISS — astronaut Tim Peake mistakenly called the wrong number once, asking the woman who answered, “Hello, is this planet Earth?”


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