On 15th December, British Astronaut, Major Tim Peake, age 43, a military test pilot of 18 years, will begin his six month mission. He becomes the first British astronaut on the ISS, and embarks on a six month mission, the longest stay so far of the ESA astronauts; to live and work onboard the International Space Station high above the Earth.
He will reach the ISS, onboard a Russian Soyuz space rocket, due to launch on the 15th December.
The mission, (named Principia after Sir Isaac Newton’s work on the laws of motion and gravity), will involve conducting experiments including growing blood vessel cells, protein crystals and rocket leaves in weightless conditions, and investigating the properties of metals.
Tim will join NASA astronaut Commander Scott Kelly, who is currently spending a year in space, undergoing ‘twin’ research experiments with his twin brother Mark, a NASA astronaut currently back on Earth, before his return in March 2016.