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UK astronaut gets ISS mission

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DocM    12,764

US sources put him on the November 2015 mission -

UK astronaut Tim Peake to go to International Space Station

Tim Peake was accepted into the European Astronaut Corps in 2009

The UK astronaut Tim Peake has been given a date to fly to the International Space Station (ISS).

The date of the mission is yet to be made public but it will not be before 2015. The European Space Agency (Esa) is to release the details on Monday.

Peake, who was a major and a helicopter pilot in the British Army Air Corps, has been in training for an expedition to the ISS since 2009.

To get there, he will ride a Soyuz rocket from Baikonur in Kazakhstan.

Tasks once in orbit will include helping to maintain the 27,000km/h platform and carrying out science experiments in Esa's Columbus laboratory module, which is attached to the front of the 400-tonne complex.

Forty-one-year-old Peake hails from Chichester, and is so far the only Briton ever to be accepted into the European Astronaut Corps.

His mission will make him the first UK national to live and work in space, and to fly the Union flag, on a British-government-funded programme (the UK is Esa's third largest contributor).

All previous UK-born astronauts that have gone into orbit have done so either through the US space agency (Nasa) as American citizens or on private ventures organised with the assistance of the Russian space agency.

"Major Tim" Peake has a degree in flight dynamics and is a qualified test pilot.

When he was selected for astronaut training he was working with the Anglo-Italian helicopter company AgustaWestland.

Helen Sharman was the first Briton to go into space in 1991 on Project Juno, a cooperative project between a number of UK companies and the Soviet government. She spent a week at the Mir space station.



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+FloatingFatMan    13,385

^ Tallyho!

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