Dutch astronaut accidentally called 911 from space, sent NASA security teams into a frenzy
Washington, Jan 4: A Dutch astronaut accidentally dialled 911 from the International Space Station and sent a security team rushing through NASA's Houston base.
André Kuipers missed out an essential number when making a call via Houston which ended up connecting with the US emergency switchboard.
According to Kuipers, it's actually not that difficult to contact friends on the Earth from space. In fact, they are able to make calls to Earth via satellites about 70 percent of the time. However, the calls might not run as smoothly as they would like because of significant time delays that make having proper conversations rather difficult.
In a recent interview with Dutch public broadcaster Nederlandse Omroep Stichting (NOS), he described an incident where he'd accidentally dialed the 911 US emergency services number while in orbit on the space station.
Kuipers is an astronaut with the European Space Agency, and was on board the ISS around 2006. "If you're in space, it's like you're making a call via Houston, first you dial the 9 for an outside line, and then 011 for an international line," Kuipers told NOS.