Prior to going into space, astronauts have to go through several years of intensive training covering everything from oribtal mechanics and scientific experimentation to medical procedures and the workings of the International Space Station (ISS).
Seems like Tim Peake, who arrived on the ISS last week, could’ve done with some training on how to make a phone call, too.
In a tweet posted from the space station on Christmas Day, the Brit said, “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!”
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!
— Tim Peake (@astro_timpeake) December 24, 2015
It’s not known who the 43-year-old astronaut was trying to contact, though presumably it wasn’t a pizza delivery joint. Considering the day, he was probably hoping to speak to his family.
Whoever answered the call, it’s likely she slammed the phone down before Peake had a chance to apologize and explain that he was calling from the International Space Station. Though she probably would’ve slammed the phone down had he said that, too.
And calls aren’t just outgoing from the ISS. Folks from planet Earth sometimes make contact with the astronauts on the space station, just like this guy did earlier this year.
The space station currently has six astronauts aboard: Commander Scott Kelly (U.S.), Sergey Volkov (Ukraine), Mikhail Kornienko (Russia), Timothy Kopra (U.S.), Yuri Malenchenko (Ukraine), and, of course, Tim Peake.
Peake’s been getting plenty of media coverage in his home country after becoming its first publicly funded astronaut and the first Brit to visit the ISS. He’ll be conducting a wide range of experiments during his six-month mission, including an endurance challenge that’ll have him running the London marathon (sort of).
Anyone interested in watching the ISS pass overhead should waste no time in signing up to NASA’s Spot the Station service, which sends out alerts ahead of the station’s appearance so you can pop your head out the window and watch it zip by.