Tim Peake: Facts About the British Astronaut

Here are some facts about Tim Peake.

  • Tim Peake is an astronaut with the European Space Agency. He was the first British astronaut with the agency, and was the 7th British born person to go into space.

  • Peake was born in Chichester, West Sussex in 1972. He studied at the town’s high school for boys, and later attended the well-known military academy at Sandhurst.
  • His full name is Timothy Nigel Peake.
  • After graduating in 1992, he joined the army and became a flight instructor and helicopter pilot.
  • In 2006, he completed a degree course in flight dynamics at the University of Portsmouth.
  • In 2012, Tim Peake spent 12 days underwater on the Aquarius underwater laboratory. The lab is located 19 metres below the surface of the water, off the coast of Florida, and is used for scientific research.
  • In December, 2015, Peake joined the International Space Station (ISS). His first meal on board the space station was a bacon sandwich and he received messages of support from Queen Elizabeth II and Elton John.
  • During his stay on the ISS, Peake researched new medical cures. However, he also had to help with more mundane tasks, such as vacuuming the dust on board, which floats in the air.

Tim Peake

  • Peake made a phone call to his family from the ISS, but mistakenly dialed the wrong number and got through to a stranger. He also made a short video message for the Queen.
  • On January 14th 2016, Tim Peake took part in a spacewalk along with another astronaut based at the ISS. The pair spent 4 hours laying cables, installing a vent and changing light bulbs.
  • Peake cut his historic spacewalk short when water was discovered in his partner’s helmet. The liquid probably leaked from the suit’s cooling system and in 2013 a similar problem almost killed another astronaut.
  • Tim Peake has been a strong supporter of the ISS being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize one day. Past recipients have included Mother Teresa, the Red Cross and Nelson Mandela.
  • Tim Peake is active on Twitter. You can follow him here.

Helen Sharman: Facts About the First Briton in Space

Here are some facts about Helen Sharman.

  • Helen Sharman was the first British man or woman in space. She was also the first Briton to visit the Mir space station.
  • Sharman worked for Mars (the confectionary company) as a chemist, before going into space. She explained that she liked to eat chocolate and was interested in exploring different flavours.

  • She spent 7 days in the Mir space station and was one of the youngest ever people to go into space. Helen Sharman was 27 when she went aboard the space station.
  • To qualify, Sharman underwent a strict selection process, based on her scientific and educational background, as well as weight. She was one of almost 13,000 applicants for the chance to go into space.
  • Helen Sharman spent 18 months training in Star City, a Russian raining facility. Many Russian cosmonauts have trained there, and it has its own shops, restaurants, school, post office and railway station.
  • The astronaut programme was called Project Juno. It was a partnership between Russia and several British companies, and money was also raised by a lottery.
  • While on board the Mir, Sharman’s tasks included taking photographs of the UK, and agricultural tests. She also took part in an amateur radio transmission with children in a British school.
  • Since the first man went into space in 1961, over 530 people from almost 40 countries have flown in space. John Glenn was one of the oldest space travellers, at 77.
  • In 1991, Sharman tripped while running with the flame at the summer Universiade in Sheffield. The incident was shown on live television.
  • Helen Sharman has a star on the Sheffield Walk of Fame. She was awarded the OBE in 1993, and there are several school buildings named after her, both in the UK and in Europe.