UK astronuat Tim Peake to retire from sparefaring and take on STEM ambassador role
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The Portsmouth University graduate became the UK’s second astronaut in 2009 and has since worked for the European Space Agency following a previous career in the military. He has been working as a spaceflight ambassador for the agency since 2019 and will now continue in the role full time.
Major Peake, who grew up in Westbourne, said: ‘Being an ESA astronaut has been the most extraordinary experience. I have had the privilege of working with an exceptional team of dedicated individuals during the past thirteen years with the Agency, which has been incredibly exciting and rewarding. By assuming the role of an ambassador for human spaceflight, I shall continue to support ESA and the UK Space Agency, with a focus on educational outreach, and I look forward to the many exciting opportunities ahead.’
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During his time as an astronaut, Tim achieved feats like being the first person to do a spacewalk adorned with a Union Jack and running the London Marathon on a treadmill in the International Space Station.
UK Space Agency chief executive Dr Paul Bate said: ‘Tim Peake is an incredible ambassador for the UK space sector and has played a leading role over the past decade.
‘Not only has he carried out important scientific work, during his historic Principia mission to the International Space Station and while on Earth, but he has inspired millions with his passion for space and the opportunities it offers.
‘We wish Tim all the best and look forward to supporting him in his next adventure, knowing that the UK’s role in human space exploration is in the safe hands of the new generation of ESA astronauts from the UK: Rosemary Coogan, Meganne Christian, and the world’s first astronaut with a physical disability, John McFall.’
Tim has worked with the UK Space Agency since 2015-2016 stint in space to inspire over two million schoolchildren across the UK. He was formerly head of astronaut operations with the ESA.
ESA director general Josef Aschbacher said: ‘Tim has been a role model for kids, aspiring youngsters and young professionals alike, inspiring millions of them and at the same time being an excellent ambassador for the whole of ESA.’