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Winter survival and spacewalk training for British astronaut

Jenny Winder, News Writer
Jul 9, 2015, 16:47 UTC

Sen—A series of European Space Agency (ESA) videos show astronaut Tim Peake training for his mission to the International Space Station (ISS) which is due to begin in December. 

Peake will be the first British-ESA astronaut to visit the ISS. His six month mission has been named Principia in honour of Isaac Newton’s book, Naturalis Principia Mathematica, which described the principal laws of motion and gravity.

Training for his mission has taken him all over the world, from Europe to Russia, Japan, the USA and Canada.

Training for spacewalks includes underwater simulations on life-size mockups of the Space Station in NASA's Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL) in Houston Texas. The pool, used to simulate the weightlessness of space travel, is 202 ft in length, 102 ft in width, and 40 ft in depth and holds 6.2 million gallons of water.

Winter survival training is necessary in the event of the Soyuz spacecraft undertaking an emergency landing in a remote, cold area. The crew would need to build a shelter and make a fire using only those things that are available in the Soyuz capsule and the surrounding environment while waiting for rescue.

Peake will be flight engineer for expedition 46/47 due to launch on board Soyuz TMA-19M from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in December 2015.

Expedition 44 crew members currently on board the ISS include NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonauts Commander Gennady Padalka and Mikhail Kornienko.

For details of every human who has been in space since the first spaceflight of Yuri Gagarin on April 12, 1961, including who is in space now and their previous missions, check out Sen’s human spaceflight app.

ESA astronaut Tim Peake during winter survival training in Russia. Credit: European Space Agency ESA