Tim Peake, the first British ESA astronaut to have completed a mission on board the International Space Station, announced on Thursday that he would be returning to the ISS to undertake a second mission. He made the announcement at London's Science Museum, on the same day the Soyuz capsule that carried him to and from the ISS went on display to the public for the first time.

Peake, a British Army Air Corps Officer, spent six months aboard the Station undertaking the 'Principia' mission, the title itself taken from Sir Issac Newton's work entitled 'Philosophiae Naturalis Principa Mathematica'.

The name itself was chosen by Peake to commemorate one of the UK's most celebrated and respected researchers alongside his numerous scientific acievements.

Principia Highlights

Whilst in Space, through his regular updates on Twitter, Peake kept his followers abreast of his research and achievements as well as participating in a number of side projects to entertain the public. All in all, he undertook more than 250 experiments and, alongside regular snapshots of life aboard the ISS and the images of Earth he was able to capture, engrossed both children and adults alike in the UK and reignited an interest in space exploration.

Amongst his highlights were:

  • Giving a science lesson to over 400,000 school children titled 'Cosmic Classroom', followed by answering some of over 7,000 questions submitted by students.
  • Running the London Marathon on a treadmill at the same time as the event itself under the hashtag #TeamAstronaut, all in aid of the Prince's Trust.
  • Launching the BBC's coverage of the Six Nations alongside watching the Scotland versus England clash live, the first time the BBC has successfully broadcast a show live to space.
  • Answering questions from members of the UK Parliament concerning microgravity, the first time Parliament has been addressed by messages from space.
  • The major achievement of becoming the first UK astronaut to perform a spacewalk, alongside his American crewmate Tim Kopra, in order to replace a failed Sequential Shunt Unit (SSU), a form of electrical regulator for the Station itself.

Awards and Future Missions

Whilst on board the ISS, Peake was awarded the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George, a British order of chivalry usually given to Men and Women for services rendered internationally or in a foreign country.

Peake was the first individual to be awarded such an honor for services as a British representative in space!

His next mission has not yet been officially titled nor scheduled, but it is expected to be undertaken some time after 2019. In the meantime, the Soyuz capsule (scorch marks and all) will be on display at the Science Museum in London for the foreseeable future.