image5Tim Peake has now been on the International Space Station for over four weeks, and interest in his Principia mission continues to rise in schools and in the wider public.

On the 15th of December events were held across the UK to bring people together to celebrate and watch his launch on board the Soyuz with crewmates Yuri Malenchenko (Russia) and Tim Kopra (USA).  At the National Space Centre hundreds of schoolchildren and other visitors watched the launch together in the Sir Patrick Moore Planetarium and the Shuttle Suites, after spending a morning finding out about the pre-launch rituals that astronauts have to follow.

At the Satellite Applications Catapult, Harwell, staff were joined by a class of primary school children to watch the launch in the morning, and then in the evening employees, family and friends were invited to watch the opening of the hatch after the successful docking of Tim's Soyuz with the International Space Station (ISS).

A number of National Space Academy Lead Educators ran events at their schools to celebrate the launch, including both Belfast Boys Model School and Thornhill College in Derry where pupils took part in space science workshops before watching the launch - even building their own models of the ISS (see picture).  Other Lead Educators, such as Caroline Molyneux at Sharples School in Bolton, ran events in the run up to the launch day as getting students involved in watching the launch itself.

Since his arrival on the ISS, Tim has managed to record video messages for BBC Stargazing Live, and to take part in a live radio link up with students from Sandringham School thanks to ARISS (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station).  The National Space Academy's own Sophie Allan joined them for the event, delivering an Academy masterclass to students afterwards.

Tomorrow Tim's mission will require him to undertake a new adventure: his first ever spacewalk or EVA (extravehicular activity).  He and Tim Kopra have been tasked with undertaking repair work on the outside of the ISS.  Before his mission began, Tim said that he hoped he would get the chance to do a spacewalk, and it is great to see that his dream will come true.

If you would like to watch Tim's spacewalk, it will be streamed live on NASA TV from 11.30 GMT tomorrow, and it will also be featured as part of BBC Stargazing Live in the evening on BBC 2.

Find out more about Tim's mission and his work using the following links