Britain’s first ESA astronaut, Tim Peake, will serve on board the International Space Station (ISS) once again. British business secretary Greg Clarke made the announcement at the Science Museum in London on 26 January, where Peake was unveiling a new exhibit featuring the Soyuz module that transported him home from the ISS during his first mission.
All of Peake’s fellow astronauts from the 2009 class will also be assigned to a second trip to the ISS over the coming years.
However currently only Alexander Gerst from Germany has been assigned to a specific mission in 2018, so it is unlikely that Peake or any of his other classmates will fly before 2019.
“It’s great news for the European space agency to be involved with the International Space Station until 2024. It’s great news for the UK to be participating in that as well,” Peake said to Sky News.
“As an astronaut it is your job to go to space and it’s something that you train long and hard for.
The work that’s being done on the space station is tremendously important and tremendously exciting as well,” he added.
“It is only natural to want to return.
The one thing you miss is the view of planet Earth, of course. It is the most spectacular thing you can possibly see.
But also being involved in the space programme is hugely rewarding.”