Monday, 20 May 2013

British astronaut flight

"This is Ground Control to Major Tim - congratulations on your selection as ESA’s first British astronaut to undertake a mission to the International Space Station (ISS) in 2015; you are cleared for takeoff!"

At a press conference in London this morning (Monday, 20 May) ESA Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain will officially name the first official British astronaut to undertake a space mission for 20 years.

Major Tim Peake, Britain's first ESA astronaut, became eligible for space missions in 2010 after completing more than a year of intensive training with the European Space Agency (ESA).

Peake, a former army helicopter test pilot from Chichester, England, was one of six other astronauts selected from across Europe in 2009.

The first place aboard a Russian Soyuz for launch this spring went to an Italian astronaut and it was widely expected that Britain’s astronaut would have to wait until 2017 for a ride into space.