How Tim Peake's love of flying took him to space

Astronaut Tim Peake's career has taken him from cockpit to capsule. Nick Spall reveals the aircraft that brought him to space and ponders where he might be going next

Tim Peake’s professional life has been one of almost continuous private, military and test flying, followed by spaceflight training and in-orbit operations as an astronaut with the European Space Agency (ESA). Now 49 years old, the UK astronaut’s career is entering a new phase.

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Perched on the farthest handrail on the ISS, ESA astronaut Tim Peake smiles for the camera during his historic spacewalk on January 15, 2016 ESA-NASA

Following his six-month Principa orbital mission in 2015-16, Tim is expected to get the chance of a second tour onboard the International Space Station (ISS) as early as 2024. Beyond that, who knows, perhaps even a flight to the vicinity of the Moon may be achievable.

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Tim Peake’s official ESA portrait. Tim says he's often asked: “How did a little ginger kid from West Sussex end up in space?” NASA-Robert Markowitz

 

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