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11 Things You Should Know About Tim Peake, Britain's First Astronaut In 20 Years

Major Timothy Peake is the first British citizen to be selected by the European Space Agency. He'll be blasting off for the International Space Station in 2015.

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1. Major Timothy Nigel Peake was born in Chichester, on 7 April 1972.

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2. Peake attended Sandhurst and served 18 years in the British Army, clocking up 3000 flying credits.


3. Peake beat more than 8,000 applicants to be accepted into the European Space Agency. He will join Expedition 46 to the ISS, launching in Winter 2015.

4. He's married, with two children.

5. In fact, he took his son's toy as a mascot while working on the Aquarius underwater laboratory.

6. He encourages prospective astronauts of all ages, like this young fan.

7. And he has plenty of advice for prospective space travellers: "I often get asked, how did you become an astronaut? For me it was a combination of a passion for flying and a fascination with technology."

8. His decision to join ESA was simple. "It's a unique opportunity in my life to become part of a team that can have such a positive impact on society."


9. He won't be imitating Commander Hadfield by covering Bowie songs while in orbit, however. "I do strum the guitar badly," he told BBC News.

10. He is on Twitter though - Astro_Timpeake.

11. "I shall be doing my utmost to maximise this opportunity for European science, industry and education to benefit from this mission", Peake told BBC news.