Leicester academics message to returning British astronaut Tim Peake

Space scientists from our University have praised the successful completion of British astronaut Tim Peake’s six month mission aboard the International Space Station.

As the former British Army Air Corps officer prepares to return to Earth on Saturday (18 June), after 186 days in orbit, Professor Martin Barstow and Professor Mark Sims from the Department of Physics and Astronomy commended the way the 44-year-old spaceman has raised the profile of UK space science.

The Leicester academics also congratulated him on his work on the Principia mission which involved working with schoolchildren on science projects.

Professor Sims said: “Tim has been a great inspiration to many children and adults and has attracted wide attention and credit for his fantastic promotion and explanations of space and science.”

Professor Barstow said: “Tim’s mission has been a tremendous success. He has been a great ambassador for the value of space research. In sharing it with a huge audience in the UK, he has raised the profile of UK space science and attracted large numbers of students into studying science at school and University."

The primary purpose of the Principia mission was to conduct experiments in low gravity, such as looking at how conditions of space affect the growth of plants, using salad seeds.

  • People wanting to watch Tim’s return to Earth can head to the National Space Centre, where the team will be hosting live coverage, providing talks and workshops and highlighting Tim’s training, mission and life post flight
  • Press release
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