Timothy Peake

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Timothy Peake
Timothy Peake, official portrait.jpg
ESA Astronaut
Nationality British
Born (1972-04-07) 7 April 1972 (age 43)
Chichester, West Sussex, England
Other occupation
Test pilot
Previous occupation
British Army officer
University of Portsmouth
Rank Major
Selection 2009 ESA Group
Website https://principia.org.uk/

Timothy Nigel Peake (born 7 April 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 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 on the NEEMO 16 mission

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) or American citizenship (Michael Foale, Piers Sellers and Nicholas Patrick).[10]

On 16 April 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 11 June 2012 and last twelve days.[11][12] The NEEMO 16 crew successfully "splashed down" at 11:05 am on 11 June.[13] On the morning of 12 June, Peake and his crewmates officially became aquanauts, having spent over 24 hours underwater.[14] The crew safely returned to the surface on 22 June.[15]

During Expedition 44 Timothy Peake served as a backup astronaut for Soyuz TMA-17M spaceflight.[16][17]

Peake is scheduled to be going to the International Space Station (ISS), on December 15th 2015, for Expeditions 46 and 47.[18] He will launch on board Soyuz TMA-19M. The official website dedicated to his mission is http://principia.org.uk/.

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."[19]

See also[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Peake is married with two sons and enjoys climbing, caving, cross country running and triathlon.[20]


  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 20 May 2009. 
  2. ^ Jonathan Amos (22 November 2010). "Europe's new astronauts graduate". BBC News. Retrieved 22 October 2010. 
  3. ^ Bremner, Charles; Henderson, Mark; Devlin, Hannah (20 May 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. 20 May 2009. Retrieved 27 March 2010. 
  7. ^ Peter Jackson (20 May 2009). "It's ground control to Major Tim". BBC News. Retrieved 21 May 2009. 
  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 20 May 2009. 
  11. ^ NASA (16 April 2012). "NASA – NASA Announces 16th Undersea Exploration Mission Dates and Crew". NASA. Retrieved 17 April 2012. 
  12. ^ Peake, Tim (29 April 2012). "NEEMO 16 – In search of an asteroid". European Space Agency. Retrieved 3 May 2012. 
  13. ^ The NEEMO Mission Management and Topside Support Team (11 June 2012). "NEEMO 16 Mission Day 1 – Status Report" (PDF). NASA. Retrieved 13 June 2012. 
  14. ^ The NEEMO Mission Management and Topside Support Team (12 June 2012). "NEEMO 16 Mission Day 2 – Status Report" (PDF). NASA. Retrieved 13 June 2012. 
  15. ^ The NEEMO Mission Management and Topside Support Team (22 June 2012). "NEEMO 16 Mission Day 12 – Status Report" (PDF). NASA. Retrieved 11 July 2012. 
  16. ^ "Expedition 44 Backup Crew Members". NASA. 15 May 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015. 
  17. ^ Evans, Ben (21 July 2015). "All-Civilian Soyuz TMA-17M Crew Ready for Wednesday Launch to Space Station (Part 2)". America Space. Retrieved 21 July 2015. 
  18. ^ "Roscosmos Announces New Soyuz/Progress Launch Dates". NASA. 9 June 2015. 
  19. ^ Andrew Henry (19 March 2014). "Astronaut Tim Peake Comments on the ISS Partnership and the Nobel Peace Prize". Space Safety Magazine. Retrieved 19 March 2014. 
  20. ^ "Astronaut Biography: Timothy Peake". Retrieved 17 January 2015. 

External links[edit]