It is quite common for people to ignore incoming phone calls from numbers that are not saved on their cell phone. While many of us rarely regret the decision, that’s not the case for one Reddit user who recently went public with their mistake. Going by the username EmphateticApatheist, the user revealed that he received a literal long distance call made from the International Space Station (ISS). Although it may seem absurd, the user claimed that the call came from a friend of his who is currently on his second space mission.
“This happened two days ago (Sunday). A friend of mine is currently on his second mission to the ISS. I saw a call coming in on my iPhone and the caller ID said ‘Us Gov.” I first had that thought/feeling you get when the manager calls you to his office. “And damn. What did I do that I thought I ran away with but maybe I didn’t? ! (sic),” he said on Reddit. The late person shared this incident on the subreddit TIFU, which stands for Today IF***** Up, where people open up about mistakes they have recently made.
‘I feel silly’
The user went on to say he was “in the middle of something” with his friends, who suggested he not answer the call after seeing the caller’s name. On the advice of his friends, he let it slip to his voicemail, but later learned it was his friend from space. “I had the opportunity to talk to someone who was not on Earth and I ruined everything. The first thing he said in voicemail was “You probably saw a call from Us Gov and declined it.” I know he’ll call back but damn I feel like an idiot right now (sic),” he wrote further. Judging by his description, it’s possible he got a call from NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren, who flew to the ISS on the Crew-4 mission with rookies Robert Hines , Jessica Watkins and European astronaut Samantha Christoforetti, also on her second mission.
What do astronauts call from space?
Space station astronauts can call from what is called a softphone. It works through the laptop computers that astronauts have access to on the ISS and uses internet-based communication systems. The ISS completes 16 orbits around the Earth in one day, making it impossible to establish contact by conventional methods. This is where the Softphone comes in, helping to communicate in space through a constellation of satellites called TDRS (Tracking and Data Relay Satellites).