How To Dial 911 From Space

An astronaut mistakenly called 911 while in space

A Dutch astronaut accidentally dialled 911 from the International Space Station and sent a security team rushing through NASA's Houston base.

Despite what you may think, calling someone from the ISS is actually pretty easy to pull off-astronauts just need to dial "9" for an outside line, then "011" for an worldwide call. But was it an emergency, and if yes, why call 911 and not the Johnson Space Center?

In space no one can hear you scream and, as it turns out, no one can respond to your 911 calls either.

"If you're in space, and you're making a call via Houston, first you dial the 9 for an outside line, and then 011 for an global line", the 60-year-old astronaut and physician said, according to a translation from the science and technology website Futurism. The next day, Kuipers received an email asking if he called 911, and he told them he may have done so by accident.

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Kuipers said he felt a little let down that no one came to space to help. André Kuipers described the experience while speaking on a radio program about his missions and communications between the Earth, satellites and astronauts orbiting the planet, according to the country's public broadcaster Nederlandse Omroep Stichting. He'd actually just dialed the wrong number. Kuipers says his fingers didn't dial correctly and he ended up with 911.

Back in 2015, Tim Peak, the first British astronaut also mentioned that he called from space and misdialed.

He did say, however, there is often a time delay that makes it hard to hold conversations with people on Earth.

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