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Session 79

Have you ever made a phone call to the wrong person by mistake? Imagine doing it from space! Neil and Tom teach you the language the media is using to discuss this story.

Sessions in this unit

Session 79 score

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    Activity 1

Activity 1

News Review

Spaceman doesn't phone home

An astronaut orbiting Earth aboard the International Space Station accidentally managed to call the US emergency services. 

Language challenge

An ___ is someone who works in space.

a) astronaught
b) astronaut
c) astronought

Watch the video and complete the activity




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The story

A Dutch astronaut has revealed that he accidentally called the US emergency number while orbiting the Earth aboard the International Space Station.

Speaking on Dutch radio André Kuipers explained that you make a call from space just as if you’re at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston by dialling 9 for an outside line, and then 011 for an international call. But he said it’s naturally trickier while floating around in space and he must have dialled 911 by mistake.

Key words and phrases

extremely large, enormous

• Compared to 20 years ago, the cost of a train ticket is astronomical!
• The country has struggled for the last decade with astronomical debt.

sparks panic
causes strong fear

• A sudden rise in oil prices often sparks panic among drivers.
• Alien spaceships arriving from Mars sparked panic.

activity which is out of control

• The smell of blood drove the sharks into a violent feeding frenzy.
• Last-minute Christmas shoppers grabbed the final items on the shelves in a frenzy.

To do

Try our quiz to see how well you've learned today's language.

News Review quiz

3 Questions

Now you've watched the video, try to answer these questions about the language in the news.

Congratulations you completed the Quiz
Excellent! Great job! Bad luck! You scored:
x / y


You can download the audio and PDF document for this episode.

Language challenge answer

b) astronaut


We hope you enjoyed News Review. You can find more episodes here.