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Misdial Results in 911 Call ... From Space

A Dutch astronaut was trying to get an international line
By Luke Roney,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 4, 2019 5:04 PM CST
A sunrise from the vantage point of the International Space Station.   (Scott Kelly/NASA via AP)

(Newser) – A Dutch astronaut accidentally called 911 from the International Space Station, Newsweek reports. Speaking to the Dutch public broadcaster, André Kuipers recounted the incident: "First you dial the 9 for an outside line, and then 011 for an international line," he said. "I made a mistake.” When he realized that mistake, he hung up. But back on Earth—Mission Control in Houston, to be precise—the bungled call resulted in NASA security being dispatched to the room where calls from the space station are patched in.

“The next day,” Kuipers recalled, “I received an e-mail message: Did you call 911?" Astronauts aboard the space station have been able to make calls from space for more than a decade using Voice over Internet Protocol, NASA’s Wayne Hale tells NPR. “Many people have gotten calls from space.” And Kuipers isn’t the first astronaut to misdial. A few years ago, British astronaut Tim Peake issued a Twitter apology after dialing the wrong number. As for Kuipers’ 911 call, “I was a little disappointed that [first responders] had not come up.” (Read more International Space Station stories.)

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