Tim Peake: Reaching for the Stars

by Abigail Richardson from MY HERO Staff

Timothy Nigel Peake, born on April 7, 1972, in Chichester, West Sussex, England, is a hero whose journey from a military pilot to visit the International Space Station (ISS) has captivated the hearts and minds of millions around the world.

In December 2015, Peake became the first British astronaut to visit the International Space Station and conduct a spacewalk during his six-month mission. He also ran the London marathon from space. Peak's mission engaged more than two million students in outreach activities. He is an ambassador for the Prince's Trust and the Scout Association in the UK, and for STEM Learning. He is a best-selling author, with proceeds from his books donated to The Prince’s Trust.

Peake was born in Chichester, Sussex, on April 7, 1972. He grew up in Westbourne, West Sussex and studied at the Chichester High School for Boys, leaving in 1990 to attend the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.

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Peake had a passion for adventure from an early age. The Cub Scouts and school Cadet Force gave him a taste for the outdoors, and he was never happier than when he was hiking, kayaking or climbing. ​At the age of 13, Peake’s dream of becoming a pilot became a reality when he took control of an aircraft for the first time. It sparked a passion for flying that has been a driving force throughout his career. By the time he was 18, he had already flown numerous solo sorties and been awarded a coveted position to join the British Army Air Corps.

After graduating from the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, Peake served as an Army Air Corps officer, flying Apache helicopters and undertaking multiple tours of duty, including in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, and Afghanistan. His military career honed not only his piloting skills but also his resilience and determination in the face of adversity.

Peake became a qualified helicopter pilot in 1994 and a qualified helicopter instructor in 1998, graduating from CFS(H) at the Defence Helicopter Flying School at RAF Shawbury in Shropshire. Promoted to major on 31 July 2004, he graduated from the Empire Test Pilots School in Wiltshire the following year and was awarded the Westland's Trophy for best rotary wing student. He then served on Rotary Wing Test and Evaluation Squadron (RWTES) at MOD Boscombe Down completing trials on Apache helicopters.

Peake completed a BSc (Hons) in Flight Dynamics and Evaluation at the University of Portsmouth the following year.

In 2009, Peake was selected as one of the six new European Space Agency (ESA) astronauts from a pool of over 8,000 applicants. This marked the beginning of an extraordinary journey that would eventually take him beyond the confines of Earth's atmosphere.

Peake's training to become an astronaut was intense and comprehensive, covering everything from spacewalks to scientific experiments. His dedication and commitment to mastering the intricacies of spaceflight were evident throughout this rigorous process.

In December 2015, Peake made history by embarking on the Principia mission, named after Isaac Newton's landmark work on physics. During his six-month stay aboard the ISS, he conducted a wide range of experiments in fields such as physiology, biology, and materials science. His contributions to scientific research during this mission were invaluable, furthering our understanding of the effects of spaceflight on the human body and laying the groundwork for future exploration.

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Beyond his scientific endeavors, Peake also engaged in extensive outreach activities, inspiring millions through live broadcasts, social media updates, and educational initiatives. His efforts to connect with audiences on Earth, particularly schoolchildren, helped to foster a new generation of space enthusiasts and STEM advocates.

In recognition of his contributions to space exploration and education, Peake has received numerous awards and honors, including being appointed the Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in the Queen’s 2016 Birthday Honours for services to space research and scientific education, and the Honorary Freedom of the City of London.

Peake is married to Rebecca with two sons and enjoys spending time outdoors with his family hiking, exploring and having more adventures.

Tim Peake is not just a hero because of his accomplishments in space, but because of the way he has used his experiences to uplift and inspire others. His story reminds us that with determination, dedication, and a sense of wonder, we can, literally, reach for the stars and achieve the impossible!

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Page created on 3/12/2024 5:35:21 PM

Last edited 3/12/2024 5:56:33 PM

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Tim Peake Homepage - Tim Peake is a former Apache pilot, flight instructor, test pilot and current European Space Agency astronaut. A veteran of 18 years military service, Tim has flown over 3,000 hours on operations worldwide.