Tim Peake in space suit

The Mission

Tim’s mission to the International Space Station, called ‘Principia’, used the unique environment of space to run experiments as well as try out new technologies for future human exploration missions. Tim was the first British ESA astronaut to visit the Space Station where he spent six months as part of the international crew.

Mission overview

Tim selected the name ‘Principia’, to celebrate Isaac Newton’s ground-breaking text on physics, Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica (Latin for “Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy”), which described the principal laws of motion and gravity on which all space travel depends.

Tim flew to the ISS as a member of the Expedition 46/47 crew.  He launched on a Soyuz from Russia’s Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on 15 December 2015 alongside NASA astronaut Tim Kopra and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko.  They joined the international crew already on the ISS, briefly bringing the number to nine, and then reverting to the more usual complement of six, before returning in June 2016.

The ISS is a unique scientific research facility, allowing astronauts to work on experiments that cannot be done anywhere on Earth. These experiments include physiology, biology, materials science, solar physics, radiation physics and technology demonstrations. Some of these experiments are intended to improve our understanding of fundamental science and some will demonstrate new applications of science and technology – but all will help to enhance the quality of life here on Earth or help us in the next stages of human exploration of the solar system.

Tim also wanted to use his mission to inspire people, especially children, to develop their interest in science and to learn more about the career opportunitues that it opens up. There were many ways they could get involved – and this web site is the starting place to find out what went on.

European Space Agency

UK Science in space

Electromagnetic Levitator

EML: Thermolab and NEQUISOL

A furnace for studying metals on the ISS.
this is a test

More to come

More to come

Latest Blog

Schools Conferences: Mission accomplished

30 November 2016

After much anticipation, the Principia Schools Conferences took place on 2 and 5 November 2016. This was the culmination of many months of preparation by our Education Team, the Education Partners we worked with, teachers and pupils across the country and by the Universities of York and Portsmouth (who were integral in hosting the events)!…

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