Astronaut Tim Peake phones wrong number from space

‘Hello, is this planet Earth?’ British spaceman apologises to woman he called in error

British astronaut Tim Peake has apologised for phoning home to a wrong number on Christmas Eve. Photograph: European Space Agency/PA

British astronaut Tim Peake has apologised for phoning home to a wrong number on Christmas Eve. Photograph: European Space Agency/PA

 

British astronaut Tim Peake has apologised for phoning home to a wrong number on Christmas Eve.

The former British Army Air Corps officer is currently European Space Agency astronaut on board the International Space Station.

After failing to connect, he took his error to Twitter, posting: “I’d like to apologise to the lady I just called by mistake saying ‘Hello, is this planet Earth?’ - not a prank call...just a wrong number!”

It was not clear if the person who answered understood how long-distance the call actually was.

Tweet

Responding to Mr Peake’s tweet, one Twitter user wanted to know what the space station’s area code was. But even without that, Earthlings can connect with the station: Its amateur radio frequencies are publicly available, and anyone with the proper equipment and the required radio license can try to call when it passes 250 miles above.

Mr Peake (43) should probably be forgiven for his lack of mastery of ship-to-shore dialing, because he is a recent arrival to the International Space Station.

He is the first publicly funded British astronaut, and his voyage to the space station on December 15 was closely watched in Britain, where cost-conscious governments have generally avoided supporting human spaceflight.

His job during his six-month mission is running science experiments, he has said on his blog and in his spare time he is training for the London Marathon.

New York Times