Facts about astronauts for Kids

December 17, 2014
When astronauts come back to
Tim Peake: 11 facts on 'Britain's first official astronaut'British astronaut Tim Peake stands among vintage space suits(Picture: AFP/Getty)

Britain is finally getting in on the space race.

The very first Government-backed British astronaut is blasting off for the International Space Station.

Tim Peake, 41, is embarking on a six-month stay in the space station on December 15.

Tom comes from a military background (Picture: EPA/Andy Rain)

Let’s find out a little bit more about ‘Britain’s first official astronaut’:

1. Peake beat 8, 000 other applicants to be accepted into the European Space Agency.

2. He’s actually quite young for an astronaut.

‘The average age of an astronaut is quite high, it’s up in the high 40s if not low 50s, because you have to attain so much experience before being selected and the training takes so long’, he told the BBC.

3. He’s been living in a cave to prepare.

Along with his American and Russian colleagues, Peake has been living in a Sardinian cave to acclimatise to isolation.

4. Peake hopes the inspire a whole new generation of science-keen kids to consider space as a career path.

5. He attended the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst.

6. Peake served as a platoon Commander and qualified as a helicopter pilot – and later a flying instructor.

7. And retired from the Armed Forces in 2009.

8. Peake likes to keep fit, enjoying skiing, scuba diving, cross-country running, climbing and mountaineering.

9. He’s father to two children.

10. He’s the first ‘official British astronaut’.

Although there have technically been Brits in space before, Peake is the first Government-funded astronaut.

Those who’ve gone before him have either had dual citizenship, or been on privately funded/sponsored missions.

Peake is also the first fully British professional astronaut to be employed by a space station.

He’s employed by the European Space Agency, that’s why he wears a little Union flag on his sleeve.

11. Peake is pretty big on Twitter.

He tweets often to keep his 52, 000 followers up to date.

The UK Space Agency will hold four launch-day events in the capital and more than a dozen smaller farewell events ahead of the December blast-off of Peake.

Source: metro.co.uk
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