Tim Peake was the first British ESA astronaut to visit the International Space Station, where his work during mission Principia captured the hearts and minds of millions.
He has a background as a test pilot and a British Army Air Corps officer and he is also a STEM ambassador and best-selling author.
Aged 13, Tim’s dream of becoming a pilot became a reality when he took control of an aircraft for the first time. By the time he was 18, he had already flown numerous solo sorties and been awarded a coveted position to join the British Army Air Corps.
Tim served as an army officer in Northern Ireland before gaining his Army Flying Wings in 1994. He trained as a combat search and rescue instructor, and flew operations to enforce the peace and provide humanitarian support in the aftermath of the Bosnian War.
Tim was part of the team responsible for training the first UK crews in flying the Apache attack helicopter. Promoted to Major and with well over 2000 hours of flying experience Tim became a test pilot and was subsequently deployed to Afghanistan in support of Special Forces operations.
In May 2009 Tim was selected as an ESA astronaut and after arduous training he was assigned to a mission to the International Space Station in May 2013. After many months spent in Russia learning how to operate the Soyuz spacecraft, he launched to space on 15 December 2015.
During his Principia mission Tim took part in over 250 scientific experiments. He conducted a spacewalk to repair the Station’s power supply, drove a rover across a simulated Mars terrain and helped dock two spacecraft. He was also actively connected with the public back on Earth – his mission focused on educational outreach, engaging more than 2 million schoolchildren across Europe in over 30 projects during his time in space. Tim’s New Year message was broadcast by the BBC to celebrate 2016 and in April that year, Tim ran the London Marathon from the ISS treadmill, becoming the first man to run a marathon in space.
One of Tim’s most cherished moments of his mission was having the opportunity to talk with the late Professor Stephen Hawking from the ISS. During their hour-long video call, they discussed many topics from their favourite music to quantum physics and the future of humanity whilst marvelling at the spectacular view of Earth from space.
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