Crack Army pilot to be first PROPER British astronaut IN SPAAAACE

Ground control to Major Tim, countdown commencing, engines on


Ex-Apache helicopter pilot Tim Peake will become the first bona fide British astronaut in space - and live and work on the International Space Station.

Tim Peake training in a Soyuz simulator

Peake performance ... Tim trains in a Soyuz simulator (Credit: ESA)

The former army major, and a serving member of the European Space Agency's astronaut corps, said today that he was "delighted" at being selected for Expedition 46/47, due to head to the orbiting platform in November 2015.

Peake will be the first UK astronaut to blast off since Briton Helen Sharman spent eight days on the old Mir orbiting station in 1991 on a Soviet-run mission. British-born Michael Foale, Piers Sellers and Nicholas Patrick have also been in space, but did so as US citizens.

"This is another important mission for Europe and in particular a wonderful opportunity for European science, industry and education to benefit from microgravity research," Peake said. The tweeting Brit test pilot will spend six months on the International Space Station carrying out scientific experiments.

"Since joining the European Astronaut Corps in 2009, I have been training to work on the station and I am extremely grateful to the ground support teams who make it possible for us to push the boundaries of knowledge through human spaceflight and exploration."

The ESA's Peake is Britain's only astronaut at the moment. Although Blighty's government claims that its space sector is thriving, it tends to be talking about satellites for the telly, not boldly going where few have gone before. Of course, that didn't stop Prime Minister David Cameron from describing the announcement as not just "a momentous day" for Peake, "but also for Great Britain".

"What an achievement that Tim was picked for this historic role from over 8,000 applicants from around the world. I am sure he will do us proud and I hope that he will inspire the next generation to pursue exciting careers in science and engineering," he said.

As well as working for the European Space Agency, Peake does work with UK's space agency on developing its microgravity research programme, and is an ambassador for science and space-based careers.

Last year, he took part in the 16th expedition of NASA's Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO), descending to Aquarius, an ambient-pressure habitat 47 feet under the ocean. The NEEMO expeditions help 'nauts to practice zero-gravity manoeuvres. ®

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • Meteoroid hits main mirror on James Webb Space Telescope
    Impact at the end of May bad enough to garble data, but NASA isn't worried

    The James Webb Space Telescope has barely had a chance to get to work, and it's already taken a micrometeoroid to its sensitive primary mirror.

    The NASA-built space observatory reached its final destination, the L2 orbit, a million miles away from Earth, at the end of January.

    In a statement, NASA said the impact happened some time at the end of May. Despite the impact being larger than any that NASA modeled and "beyond what the team could have tested on the ground," the space agency said the telescope continues to perform at higher-than-expected levels. The telescope has been hit on four previous occasions since launch.

    Continue reading
  • Astra fails, sends NASA's Tropics weather satellites back to Earth
    Orbital success counter stuck at 2 as upper stage of rocket shuts down early and CubeSats lost

    The first of NASA's TROPICS constellation launches came to an unscheduled end over the weekend as the Astra launch vehicle it was riding failed to deliver the cubesats to orbit.

    It was all going so well. The two cubesats lifted off atop an Astra Rocket 3 from Space Launch Complex 46 at approximately 1343 EDT on June 12, 2022.

    The initial flight seemed go swimmingly, but things went wrong after the first stage had completed. Viewers of video streaming live from the rocket saw what appeared to be the start of some tumbling before the feed was abruptly cut off. NASA's California-based commercial rocket-making partner Astra confirmed that the upper stage had shut down early, dooming the payload to a considerably earlier than planned rendezvous with Earth.

    Continue reading
  • Former chip research professor jailed for not disclosing Chinese patents
    This is how Beijing illegally accesses US tech, say Feds

    The former director of the University of Arkansas’ High Density Electronics Center, a research facility that specialises in electronic packaging and multichip technology, has been jailed for a year for failing to disclose Chinese patents for his inventions.

    Professor Simon Saw-Teong Ang was in 2020 indicted for wire fraud and passport fraud, with the charges arising from what the US Department of Justice described as a failure to disclose “ties to companies and institutions in China” to the University of Arkansas or to the US government agencies for which the High Density Electronics Center conducted research under contract.

    At the time of the indictment, then assistant attorney general for national security John C. Demers described Ang’s actions as “a hallmark of the China’s targeting of research and academic collaborations within the United States in order to obtain U.S. technology illegally.” The DoJ statement about the indictment said Ang’s actions had negatively impacted NASA and the US Air Force.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022