Tim Peake Phones Into Conference

British Astronaut Tim Peake, the first British Astronaut to lice and work on the International Space Station, phoned into the Space Conference UK 2015. Tim had to make the call during his quarantine while he is on standby for the mission prior to his in case he would need to fill-in at the last moment for one of his colleagues. Tim’s mission is scheduled for the end of November.

Tim has done incredible work with outreach programs for young people, which have included a broad range; from a competition to design the mission patch for him, to the Great British Space Dinner Challenge to plan a meal for him to eat in space with the winners working with Heston Blumenthal to develop the meal. During Tuesday’s call, Tim announced the winning schools for the competition to design experiments for him to carry out using the Raspberry Pi computer that he will have onboard the ISS. The winning schools were from Lincolnshire, North Yorkshire, Norfolk and London.

Jeremy Curtis, Head of Education at the UK Space Agency, said: “We’re incredibly impressed with the exciting and innovative Astro Pi proposals we’ve received and look forward to seeing them in action aboard the International Space Station.”

“Not only will these students be learning incredibly useful coding skills, but will get the chance to translate those skills into real experiments that will take place in the unique environment of space.”

In addition to these announcements, Tim talked further about his aspirations for his mission, and contribution to developing the space sector in the UK.

Tim will be flying to the ISS on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft, the most reliable method to date. The Soyuz craft were developed in the 60’s under the Soviet space program, and it’s a fascinating testament to their creators that they have this record and are still the best way to get to ISS, but also a sign of the failure of any other systems to be developed, and just how difficult getting into space actually is.


Soyuz spacecraft

Orbital module (A)

1 docking mechanism, 2 Kurs antenna, 4 Kurs antenna, 3 television transmission antenna, 5 camera, 6 hatch

Descent module (B)

7 parachute compartment, 8 periscope, 9 porthole, 11 heat shield

Service module (C)

10 and 18 attitude control engines, 21 oxygen tank,12 Earth sensors, 13 Sun sensor, 14 solar panel attachment point, 16 Kurs antenna, 15 thermal sensor, 17 main propulsion, 20 fuel tanks, 19 communication antenna

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