British Astronaut Tim Peake, who is currently aboard the International Space Station (ISS), attempted to call his family back on Earth, but misdialed the number and ended up talking to a complete stranger. Incidentally, this is not the first time Peake has had phone troubles aboard the space station orbiting thousands of miles above Earth.
Tim Peake, a British astronaut who arrived at the ISS on December 15, made an attempt to call home during the brief time-period in which the space station was over his country. However, he managed to bungle up, and ended up calling a total stranger. When the person, a woman, picked up, Peake said the following.
“Hello, is this planet Earth?”
The rest of the conversation hasn’t been made public, but it can easily be presumed how the lady, who received the call, must have felt. It is not every day you receive a call that begins with, “Is this planet Earth?” Realizing the error, Peake must have apologized and explained his statements. Perhaps not done with the apologies, the well-mannered astronaut later tweeted the following message.
Associated with the European Space Agency (ESA), Major Tim Peake is Britain’s first official astronaut. He is a former Army Air Corps officer and helicopter test pilot. Interestingly, he is also the first fully British professional astronaut employed by a space agency. All the previous “Brits in space,” have either had U.S. or dual citizenship or been on privately funded or sponsored trips reported the Telegraph.
Peake was formally recruited and extensively trained by ESA. Incidentally, the decision to send a British astronaut to the ISS was made only after the U.K. Government officially started to contribute funds to ESA’s ISS operations starting from 2012.
43-year-old Peake is expected to be aboard the ISS for about six months before he embarks on his return journey scheduled June 5th, 2016. Incidentally, Peake’s 173 days mission aboard the ISS will be the sixth longest space mission undertaken by an ESA astronaut, reported NYSE Post.
Astronauts on the ISS are able to call their families on Earth through video and voice calls during their free time, reported Mashable. It’s not like they have extensive amount of free time to being with. Moreover, they are restricted by the time-period the ISS is hovering over a radio contact tower back on Earth. The connection has improved significantly over the years, but there is a lot of delay and possibilities of static.
Peake is expected to help conduct about 265 science and medical experiments. Needless to say, survival in zero-gravity, let alone performing experiments, is extremely challenging and not to mention time-consuming. Safe to presume, the British astronaut won’t have a lot of time to chat with his loved ones back on Earth.
Interestingly, this isn’t the first time Peake had phone troubles. The astronaut had made his first call to his parents, after reaching the ISS. However, he ended up being greeted with a recorded message as his parents had decided to make an unscheduled visit to his sister. Peake had the following message, which his parents assured they won’t delete, ever.
“‘Hello, this is your son from the International Space Station.”
[Photo by European Space Agency]