Interstellar Intercom: Utah Man Gets Phone Call From Int’l Space Station
KAYSVILLE, Utah — A Utah man received a “once-in-a-lifetime” phone call when an astronaut called a Kaysville business from the International Space Station.
Dale Hawkins works as the operational manager at PinProsPlus, an online pin-making business based in a small building in Kaysville.
Hawkins had the unique experience Friday when an ordinary morning turned extraordinary with one phone call.
Hawkins answered the phone, and this is what he heard.
“Hey, this is Jessica Meir,” the caller said. “I’m so glad you picked up. I’m not able to leave you a call back number.”
Hawkins had been in contact with Meir over email about her order, so he recognized the caller immediately.
“The expedition pins is kind of how we got our foot in the door with NASA,” Hawkins said, referring to the six years they’ve been in business with NASA, creating official logo pins and customized pins for individual missions.
But what he didn’t realize until he was on the phone with her was that Meir was on her first mission to the International Space Station.
“I said, ‘Oh that’s awesome,’” he said.
And then he remembered thinking, “this is a once in a lifetime opportunity — I need to ask her something. What can I ask her?”
And so he asked her the first thing that came to mind. “‘Is it what you expected?’” he asked. “She kind of got quiet and paused for a moment and said, ‘You know, it’s more than I ever imagined it would be.’ And I thought, ‘Man that’s so cool.’”
For the next minute or so Hawkins talked to her about the Expedition 62 pins she was ordering for family and friends to remember her mission to space.
The phone call was amazing for Hawkins on its own. But a few minutes later he got another phone call from his contact at NASA about the order of pins.
Hawkins said the official told him, “In my 30 years at NASA I’ve never had that experience to talk to an astronaut while in space.’ And I said ‘I know it’s cool, right?’ And she’s like, ‘that is amazing.’”
The experience was too good not to share, so when Hawkins returned home that day, he told his family.
“I took the coolest phone call at work today,” he said. “And they’re like, ‘Who’d you talk to?’ And I said, ‘I spoke to an astronaut in space, on the International Space Station.’ And they said, ‘No you didn’t.’ And I said, ‘I did, I kid you not.’”
Meir arrived at the International Space Station on Sept. 25 and won’t return home until April. But her phone call to Hawkins on earth is here to stay.
Hawkins said in total, NASA ordered about 8,000 of the Expedition 62 pins.
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