‘Hello, is this planet Earth?’ asks an astronaut after calling a wrong number from ISS

Britain’s first astronaut, Tim Peake, currently serving aboard the International Space Station (ISS), when tried calling home from space accidentally dialled the wrong number.

However, he quickly took to Twitter to insist that the incident was 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,” he tweeted from the ISS on Christmas day.

Father of two, Peake, 43, of Chichester, has been unlucky with calls to earth and had earlier got his parents’ answering machine when he tried to wish them a Merry Christmas.

The astronaut’s father, Nigel Peake, told ITV News that the experience felt amazing.

“It was quite surreal. We’d popped out for about an hour to see our daughter who lives nearby, came home to an answerphone message, ‘hello, this is your son from the International Space Station’. We’re out when he calls! That message is going to stay there in perpetuity, I can assure you.”

Peake also tweeted an illustration created by Lupus Films of the astronaut with The Snowman and The Snowdog.

Peake is expected to help conduct about 265 science and medical experiments to help scientist understand the toll of space flight on the human body, which will help in future missions to Mars.

He is sharing the space station with five astronauts from Russia and the United States: Scott Kelly, Tim Kopra, Mikhail Kornienko, Yuri Malenchenko and Sergey Volkov.

Earlier in the week, Peake helped two fellow crew members to conduct a space walk outside the ISS. Astronauts Tim Kopra and Scott Kelly, from the US space agency NASA, went outside the ISS to fix a broken component.

‘Peake Fever’ had swept Britain with millions of school children abandoning lessons to watch him leave the Earth for outer space on December 15.

Peake is the first UK national in last 25 years, chosen to join the ISS team in 2009 and is employed by the European Space Agency. He beat over 8,000 applicants to the job.

Before he embarks on his return journey scheduled on June 5, 2016, the six-month stay on the space station will see Peake go around the Earth 2,700 times, traveling at 17,500mph (28,200kph). The 173 days mission aboard the ISS by Peake will be the sixth longest space mission undertaken by an ESA astronaut.

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