3,2,1 Lift Off!
That’s it the first official British astronaut has taken off at 1,000mph to head for the stars!
Tim Peake is on course to land on the International Space Station (ISS) where he’ll be the first official British astronaut on the ISS! He’ll be stationed there for six months for a mission that took six years to prepare for!
Today at 11am Tim Peake blasted off at 1,000mph after an emotional goodbye to his family that saw his youngest son shouting, “I want to go with Daddy”. But how did he get there?
Peake started his career in the army, and after a twenty-year sting he applied (along with 8,000 other people) to join the European Space Agency’s astronaut training programme. Taking on fitness and academic tests that pushed him to the edges of his ability and knowledge. He was one of just six successful applicants - but if he thought that was tough the next six years would open his eyes!
He then had to broaden his knowledge and further improve his fitness to begin his journey for an experience that would forever change his life. Experiencing zero gravity, as well as g-force simulators and technical study that will help him on the ISS.
So what will he be doing up there?
Well first things first, he revealed on twitter he’ll be watching the new Star Wars film! But the real challenges he’s going to face will come next; he’ll be taking responsibility for docking vehicles approaching ISS, using a robotic arm. He’s desperate to undertake a space walk (an iconic moment for any astronaut). But more than this he’ll be measuring throughout his experience on the ISS the reaction his body is having to being in space, measuring his bone density, blood pressure and intracranial pressure!
As if that wasn’t enough he’ll also be taking on the London Marathon from 300 miles above. Strapped to a treadmill, armed with an iPad he’ll be running the same route, at the same time on the same day as the masses hit the streets of London.
So Tim, as you land on the ISS at 17:54 (GMT) we wish you luck, and we can’t wait to see the pictures!