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Tim Peake

Morson Meets... British astronaut Tim Peake on the future of space travel

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Morson Meets... British astronaut Tim Peake on the future of space travel

Posted on August 2022

tim peake

NASA is poised to kick-start the future of human lunar exploration with the launch of a new test flight as part of their Artemis program. The flight will fly around the moon in a distant orbit for a couple weeks, before heading back for a splashdown in the Pacific. No crew will be aboard, but the flight signals the first step in building towards a crewed flight to the moon as early as 2025, the first since 1972.

But what does it take to be an astronaut?

In September 2019, Morson attended a seminar hosted by astronaut Tim Peake, the first British astronaut to visit the International Space Station. He talked about his time in the armed forces, his training and how he overcame his own self-doubt. We also asked him some questions surrounding STEM and the future of space travel.​

In December 2015, Tim Peake of the European Space Agency made history when he became the first British astronaut to visit the International Space Station (ISS).

Flying with Expedition 46 aboard the Russian Soyuz TMA-19M rocket alongside cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko and NASA astronaut Timothy Kopra, Peake spent six months aboard the ISS. During his stay, he participated in a variety of experiments in biology, physics, astronomy and supported a spacewalk for repair work before returning to Earth in June 2016

MORSON: You’ve done a lot of work promoting STEM in schools, helping to inspire the next generation of talent. What would an 11-year-old looking into their future career have to look forward to in terms of space travel?

“It’s really interesting actually. When I fly my next mission in 2023/24, it’s very likely I’ll be on board the ISS with commercial astronauts. Next year we’re looking at two new spacecraft, SpaceX and Boeing. They will be taking space agency astronauts but each year four fully paid commercial astronauts too. Space flight is becoming open to many more people. In 20 or 30 years I see it being like aviation. There will be a professional corps of astronauts but also commercial flight for civilians to enjoy.”

MORSON: Did you ever have a significant setback when you thought you wouldn’t make it into space and you thought you just weren’t cut out for it?

“Every time I came out of my Russian language lessons I wondered if I was cut out for it! Language was hard for me. Science wasn’t an issue being a pilot, systems I lapped up and the physical training was great. One of the great things about the astronaut corps, 8,000 applied and it was whittled down to six, so everybody is there to help you through. There’s an amazing network and you’ll always find people to help. I worked particularly hard to get to the level I needed to be at.”

“It’s important - don’t let anybody ever tell you that you can’t do something if you’ve set your heart on. Right from the early stages I had setbacks. I was even told I wouldn’t be a pilot. But it’s about being passionate. You must have courage in your convictions to chart a course for yourself and fight for it. There was a lot of hard work along the way. I had to go back to education at the age of 33 to get a degree which was required for my career which was a lot of extra tuition. But it comes down to hard work and determination.”

​Search our latest opportunities here, and read the full interview with Tim here