Astronaut dials 911 from space

Mindy Sparks
January 7, 2019

According to, Dutch astronaut André Kuipers was making a call when he missed a number, causing him to dial 911 via the Houston space center's switchboard. To get an worldwide line, they need to dial 011.

We're not sure which sounds more entertaining-prank calling Earthlings from a space station or telling your friends you picked up your phone and heard an astronaut yell "Wassap?!".

The 911 call apparently triggered an emergency situation at the Center, with technicians checking the line that connected the ISS and Earth. "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 global line", Kuipers told NOS. Kuipers says his fingers didn't dial correctly and he ended up with 911. He was orbiting the Earth on the International Space Station (ISS) when he tried to contact the Johnson Space Center.

"I was a little disappointed that they had not come up", joked Kuipers.

Then, in the interview, he also explained that calling Earth from space is very easy and that astronauts can use the phones via satellites in about 70% of the time.

He did say, however, there is often a time delay that makes it hard to hold conversations with people on Earth. The incident occurred at some point over the course of his 203 days in space across two missions between 2004 and 2011, and as the man himself explained, such a seemingly rare mistake is actually quite easy to make, even when you're off-planet.

How did he dial 911 instead of the numbers for the center?

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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