Tim Peake was the first British ESA astronaut to visit the International Space Station, where his work on its Principia mission captured the hearts and minds of millions. He is also a best-selling author and an inspirational communicator of science to audiences of all ages.
Tim served as an army officer in Northern Ireland before gaining his Army Flying Wings in 1994. After flying helicopters in Kenya, Cyprus, Canada and Northern Ireland, Tim trained as a combat search and rescue instructor, and flew operations to enforce the peace and provide humanitarian support in the aftermath of the Bosnian War.
Tim was part of the team responsible for training the first UK crews in flying the Apache attack helicopter. Promoted to Major and with well over 2000 hours of flying experience Tim became a test pilot and was subsequently deployed to Afghanistan in support of Special Forces operations.
Tim was selected as an ESA astronaut in May 2009 and after arduous training Tim was assigned to a mission to the International Space Station in May 2013. After many months spent in Russia learning how to operate the Soyuz spacecraft, he launched to space on 15 December 2015. His Principia mission included a spacewalk to repair the Station’s power supply, helping dock two spacecrafts and driving a rover across a simulated Mars terrain from space.
Tim took part in over 250 scientific experiments during his mission. His Principia mission also focused on educational outreach, engaging more than 2 million schoolchildren across Europe in over 30 projects during his time in space.
As an ambassador for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), Tim is passionate about inspiring the next generation of scientists, engineers and explorers.
His remarkable and inspiring autobiography Limitless (Century, 2020) charts his surprising road to becoming an astronaut, from a shy and unassuming boy from Chichester who had a passion for flight, to a young British Army officer, Apache helicopter pilot, flight instructor and test pilot who served around the world.
Tim has also written the bestselling children’s book Swarm Rising (Hachette Children, 2021) with bestselling author Steve Cole, and is currently working on the sequel, Swarm Enemy, publishing August 2022.
Talk: Today’s Right Stuff: How astronauts prepare for a new era of space exploration