Timothy Peake

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Timothy Peake
ESA-Astronaut Timothy Peake.jpg
ESA Astronaut
Nationality British
Born (1972-04-07) 7 April 1972 (age 42)
Chichester, West Sussex, England, UK
Other occupation
Test Pilot
Previous occupation
British Army Officer
University of Portsmouth
Rank Major
Selection 2009 ESA Group

Timothy Nigel Peake (born April 7, 1972 in Chichester, West Sussex) is a former British Army Air Corps officer and a current European Space Agency astronaut.[1] He is the first British citizen to be selected as an astronaut by ESA. Peake began ESA's intensive astronaut basic training course in September 2009 and graduated on 22 November 2010.[2]

Early education[edit]

Peake studied at the Chichester High School for Boys, leaving in 1990 to attend the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.[3]


Military and aeronautical[edit]

Upon graduation from Sandhurst in 1992, Peake served as a platoon Commander with the now defunct light infantry regiment, the Royal Green Jackets.[4] Peake became a qualified helicopter pilot in 1994 and a qualified flight instructor in 1998. In 2005, he graduated from the Empire Test Pilots School and was awarded the Westland's Trophy for best rotary wing student. Peake completed a BSc(Hons) in flight dynamics and evaluation at the University of Portsmouth the following year.[5] Peake left the army in 2009 after 17 years of service and over 3000 flying hours to his credit, becoming a test pilot with AgustaWestland.[6][7]


Peake beat over 8,000 other applicants for one of the six places on the ESA's new astronaut training programme. The selection process included taking academic tests, fitness assessments and several interviews.[8] Peake moved to Cologne with his family for the ESA training.[9]

If successful, Peake would become the first Briton to fly into space without a private contract (Helen Sharman, Sarah Brightman) or American citizenship (Michael Foale, Piers Sellers and Nicholas Patrick).[10]

On April 16, 2012, NASA announced that Peake would serve as an aquanaut aboard the Aquarius underwater laboratory during the NEEMO 16 undersea exploration mission, scheduled to begin on June 11, 2012 and last twelve days.[11][12] The NEEMO 16 crew successfully "splashed down" at 11:05 am on June 11.[13] On the morning of June 12, Peake and his crewmates officially became aquanauts, having spent over 24 hours underwater.[14] The crew safely returned to the surface on June 22.[15]

Peake will be going to the International Space Station (ISS), but not before 2015, for Expeditions 46 and 47.[16] He will launch on board Soyuz TMA-19M.

International Space Station partnership and the Nobel Peace Prize[edit]

At the UK National Student Space Conference in early 2014, Peake expressed his support for the initiative to award the International Space Station partnership the Nobel Peace Prize. “I was delighted to read about the International Space Station and the discussions about it being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize because… it has been one of the most incredible international partnerships...[The ISS] really has brought many nations together through difficult times, and continues to do so.” Peake noted that with increasing constraints on space programs around the world, collaborative initiatives such as ISS will be necessary for future endeavours. “I think [the ISS] really has to be the model for future space exploration because with budgets becoming more and more constrained, then, really one nation is not going to have the capability to expand exploration out into the solar system, to Mars and beyond. We are going to have to work together on projects.”[17]

See also[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Peake is married with two sons.


  1. ^ "ESA prepares for the next generation of human spaceflight and exploration by recruiting a new class of European astronauts". European Space Agency. 20 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-20. 
  2. ^ Jonathan Amos (22 November 2010). "Europe's new astronauts graduate". BBC News. Retrieved 2010-10-22. 
  3. ^ Bremner, Charles; Henderson, Mark; Devlin, Hannah (May 20, 2009). "Briton Major Timothy Peake named as Europe's latest astronaut". London: Times Online. Retrieved 27 March 2010. 
  4. ^ Sample, Ian (21 May 2009). "European Space Agency recruits test pilot as Britain's first official astronaut". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 27 March 2010. 
  5. ^ "Astronaut biography". 5 October 2009. Retrieved 27 March 2010. 
  6. ^ "AgustaWestland Test Pilot Selected For Astronaut Training". AgustaWestland. 2009-05-20. Retrieved 27 March 2010. 
  7. ^ Peter Jackson (20 May 2009). "It's ground control to Major Tim". BBC News. Retrieved 2009-05-21. 
  8. ^ Gray, Richard (31 May 2009). "Britain's first official astronaut Tim Peake defends sending humans into space". London: The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 27 March 2010. 
  9. ^ Sample, Ian (23 March 2010). "Lift-off for new space agency which aims to rocket UK out of recession". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 27 March 2010. 
  10. ^ Jonathan Amos (20 May 2009). "Europe unveils British astronaut". BBC News. Retrieved 2009-05-20. 
  11. ^ NASA (April 16, 2012). "NASA - NASA Announces 16th Undersea Exploration Mission Dates and Crew". NASA. Retrieved April 17, 2012. 
  12. ^ Peake, Tim (29 April 2012). "NEEMO 16 - In search of an asteroid". European Space Agency. Retrieved May 3, 2012. 
  13. ^ The NEEMO Mission Management and Topside Support Team (June 11, 2012). "NEEMO 16 Mission Day 1 - Status Report" (PDF). NASA. Retrieved June 13, 2012. 
  14. ^ The NEEMO Mission Management and Topside Support Team (June 12, 2012). "NEEMO 16 Mission Day 2 - Status Report" (PDF). NASA. Retrieved June 13, 2012. 
  15. ^ The NEEMO Mission Management and Topside Support Team (June 22, 2012). "NEEMO 16 Mission Day 12 - Status Report" (PDF). NASA. Retrieved July 11, 2012. 
  16. ^ "UK astronaut Tim Peake to go to International Space Station". BBC. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  17. ^ Andrew Henry (March 19, 2014). "Astronaut Tim Peake Comments on the ISS Partnership and the Nobel Peace Prize". Space Safety Magazine. Retrieved March 19, 2014. 

External links[edit]