European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut of British nationality Tim Peake is encouraging school children to get fit and stay active at the Farnborough International Airshow this week. Budding young astronauts aged 8 to 13 from across the UK are invited to take part in the international challenge Mission X: Train Like an Astronaut – a programme to encourage school students to focus more on fitness and nutrition.
The programme developed by the partners of the International Space Station (ISS) uses astronaut training to teach how good diet and exercise play an important role in human performance in space and on the Earth. The programme is free and the activities can be used by individuals, schools or community groups. The international challenge will start in January 2013.
Tim Peake is taking a short break from his own astronaut training to attend the Airshow and invite schools to participate in the Mission X: Train Like an Astronaut 2013 challenge. At Farnborough Airshow Tim spoke to teachers, students and families about his own astronaut training and challenged them to take part in the astronaut fitness programmes available as part of Mission X.
Tim as well as being a test pilot and ESA astronaut is also a keen runner, skier and scuba diver.
4000 UK students from over 44 British schools have already taken part in the Mission X challenges in 2011 and 2012. Students had the opportunity to take part in live link-ups with the International Space Station and find out about life in space. As well as Tim Peake, Mission X UK has been supported by ESA astronauts Andr Kuipers and Paolo Nespoli, NASA astronaut Piers Sellers and private astronaut Richard Garriott.
Jeremy Curtis, Head of Education at the UK Space Agency noted:
The UK Space Agency is enabling children to access astronaut training and nutrition regimes and learn about the science behind them
“This is a unique opportunity to find out first hand about astronaut training and to find out how you can get involved in Mission X – Train Like An Astronaut. The UK Space Agency is enabling children to access astronaut training and nutrition regimes and learn about the science behind them. The children taking part will also learn about space and could be the space explorers of the future.”
Tim Peake commented:
Spaceflight can be physically demanding and part of my job is to train hard so that I‘m always ready to go into space
“Being fit and healthy is a key requirement for future astronauts. Spaceflight can be physically demanding and part of my job is to train hard so that I‘m always ready to go into space. It’s much easier to exercise on earth than in microgravity! The real mission is to encourage kids today to exercise and eat a healthy diet, and astronaut training exercises are an exciting, fun way to do it.”
People have been flocking from around the world to visit the UK Space Agency in the Space Zone at Farnborough. The latest industry developments and cutting edge technology are on display to demonstrate the work being done to layout the future direction for space. Space is a growing industry with a bright future. One of the ways the Agency nourishes and supports it is by inspiring the next generation of space scientists, engineers and enthusiasts.
The next Mission X challenge will be launching in January 2013 – with the expectation of doubling the intake from 4000 to 8000 students across the UK. To find out more about how your children or school can be involved, register your interest.