British Astronaut Tim Peake Gives Last Press Conference Ahead of ISS Trip

By James O Malley on at

In just over a month's time British astronaut Tim Peake will be blasting off to the International Space Station onboard a Soyuz rocket - and will become the first Briton in space paid for by the UK Space Agency.

According to The Mirror, he spoke earlier today at the Science Museum in London in his final press conference before heading to Kazakhstan for launch with Nasa astronaut Tim Kopra and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko.

He apparently explained that one of his hopes off the back of his six month mission is to encourage more kids to get into science, saying:

"I was really keen that we make the absolute most of this mission to encourage students and young people to get involved in technology and engineering, and to study STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects that will set them up for future careers in those industries,"

He told the BBC similar, explaining that he wants to create the same enthusiasm the Apollo missions caused during the 60s and 70s.

Interestingly, outreach will be a big part of his mission. Apparently weekdays will be devoted to serious scientific research, but weekends will be spent engaging with members of the public. Perhaps taking inspiration from Commander Chris Hadfield, who built up a huge social media audience whilst orbiting the Earth, he has spoken about how he wants the mission to be "fun and exciting" for people to follow. In the run-up to launch, he has already worked with the UK Space Agency on a programme that saw kids help design a meal he can eat in space - and whilst on board he will be conducting a "seed growing experiment".

Launch is currently scheduled for December 15th, just two days before the release of Force Awakens. (That's how we conceive of time now.) [The Mirror]