Author Archives: Tim Peake

Bruce Maccandless untethered spacewalk. Credit: NASA

Gravity

"At 600km above planet earth the temperature fluctuates between +258 and -148 degrees Fahrenheit. There is nothing to carry sound - no air pressure, no oxygen. Life in space is impossible..." I am reminded of the opening...

CAVES Training Day 1

By Andreas Mogensen Monday morning 8:00 am and we are already slightly behind schedule! Our introductory classes from Sunday evening had to be postponed due to delayed flights. Perhaps not surprising when a multinational group of astronauts have to arrive simultaneously from the USA, Russia, Canada, Japan, and Germany. But it is a small price to pay for the opportunity to train with astronauts and cosmonauts representing all of the international partners behind the ISS program. Our multinational backgrounds and their relation to human behaviour and performance were the focus of our morning lessons. International cooperation is one of the most important achievements of the ISS program and a primary reason for...

NEEMO 16 – In search of an asteroid

Welcome aboard the NEEMO 16 mission! Destination: Asteroid, deep space Date: 11-22 June 2012 Earlier this year I was fortunate enough to be assigned to NASA’s Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) 16th mission to an underwater habitat called ‘Aquarius’, which lies about 20m under the ocean and nearly 8 miles off Florida’s Key Largo coast. Over the years, NEEMO missions have been used by NASA to provide vital research and development data to support future exploration missions. Living underwater is an excellent space analog – the crew can practice EVA (‘spacewalk’) techniques using neutral buoyancy in water, whilst Aquarius offers an environment similar to a spacecraft: confined living space, total reliance on...

Learning to ‘spacewalk’

One of the most captivating images of spaceflight, at least to my mind, does not portray the staggering power released by a 3000 tonne rocket departing the Earth, nor the grace of a space station the size of a football pitch gliding over an ocean. For me, it is the image of an astronaut floating freely in space, surveying the Universe at will, unencumbered by Earth’s annoying (yet rather essential) gravity that epitomises human achievement. When I’m asked which astronaut has inspired me the most, the temptation is to recite the more obvious ‘first’ achievements of Yuri Gagarin, Neil Armstrong or Alexey Leonov. The truth is the picture of Bruce McCandless conducting...