Astronaut accidentally calls 911 from space

James Marshall
January 5, 2019

According to Newsweek, the Dutch astronaut explained to the Netherlands public broadcaster Nederlandse Omroep Stichting how he accidentally contacted emergency services in the United States while floating some 254 miles above the Earth.

The 60-year-old said that in order for him to contact the Houston Centre from space, he had to dial 9 for an outside line, followed by 011 for an worldwide line.

Dutch astronaut André Kuipers was making a call via Houston when he missed a number, causing him to accidentally dial 911 via the Houston space center's switchboard.

He described his mistake while punching in the numbers as he floated in zero gravity: 'I made a mistake.

The following day, he went on, he received an e-mail from the Houston emergency staff, who inquired whether he had called 911.

Kuipers, who completed two space missions totaling 203 days, added: 'I was a little disappointed that they had not come up!'

Kuipers told the Dutch radio programme Met Het Oog Op Morgen that he had called the Earth to say hello once in a while, since astronauts are able to contact phones on the ground almost 70 percent of the time.

In 2015, Britain's first astronaut, Tim Peake, insisted he hadn't prank-called an unsuspecting woman from space but had instead dialed the wrong number.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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