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Tim Peake launches for Principia mission

Tim Peake Training220

After over six years of training, UK European Space Agency Astronaut Tim Peake has today lifted off from Baikonur in Kazakhstan. His mission marks a giant leap in the inclusion of the UK in ESA's human spaceflight programme, since the UK first started contributing to the programme in 2012.

During his free time, Tim will conduct scientific classroom demonstrations as part of the National Space Academy's Astro Academy: Principia project. The resulting videos of principles such as 'the kinetic theory of gases' which can be uniquely showcased in microgravity will be provided for teachers to use in the classroom.

The National Space Academy is present today at numerous events celebrating the launch, including Lead Educators hosting events at their own schools, a public and schools event at the National Space Centre and a special staff and school event at the Harwell Science Campus.

At Harwell, a local primary school has been invited to 'train like an astronaut' including building their own rocket. To coincide with the docking of Tim's Soyuz craft with the International Space Station (ISS), friends and family of the Satellite Applications Catapult have invited to an evening event at the Catapult, where they will watch a livestream video of Tim and his colleagues joining the rest of the ISS crew after their final checks are complete and the hatch is opened.

Members of the public will also be able to watch the hatch opening this evening, either through ESA TV http://www.esa.int/esatv/Television where the event times will be listed beforehand or through NASA TV http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html.  The UK Space Agency has also put together an activity pack that people can access on line with suggestions on how to celebrate the launch at home https://principia.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Principia-Activity-Pack.pdf

 The National Space Academy team would like to take this opportunity to wish Tim the very best of luck on his mission, and to say how much we look forward to working with Tim and colleagues at ESA and the UK Space Agency on the Astro Academy: Principia project.

Follow Tim on social media for more updates on his mission:

Twitter: @astro_timpeake

Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/ESATimPeake/

Website for Principia mission: https://principia.org.uk/

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Crew portrait with Tim Peake, Yuri Malenchenko (Rus) and Timothy Kopra (USA) who will launch together on 15th Dec 2015, Credit: ESA/GCTC