Astronaut Tim Peake is to return to space.
The announcement that he will go on a second mission to the International Space Station. was made as the Soyuz TMA-19M spacecraft that launched Major Peake into orbit and returned him to Earth went on public display at London’s Science Museum.
The museum said Maj Peake - from Westbourne near Emsworth - would return to the International Space Station following his mission which began in December 2015.
Refurbished but still singed by the heat of re-entry, the capsule joins other exhibits charting the history of space exploration.
During his 186 days on the ISS the former helicopter test pilot and father of two participated in more than 250 scientific experiments, performed a space walk, ran the London Marathon on a treadmill, and inspired more than a million schoolchildren with educational outreach activities.
Maj Peake said: ‘Naturally I’m quite fond of this spacecraft. We go back a bit. It’s a very special moment when you first see your spacecraft being built. I was delighted to see it still bears the scorch marks.”
He added that he hoped it would inspire the next generation.
It was also announced that UK space businesses are set to benefit from a £152m International Partnership Programme, run by the UK Space Agency, using British expertise in satellite technology for international projects monitoring and addressing problems such as flooding, drought and deforestation.
In June 2016 Maj Peake and crewmates American Nasa astronaut Colonel Tim Kopra and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko made the trip back to Earth in the Soyuz space capsule measuring just over six feet across.
Maj Peake was the first British astronaut to be sent to the ISS by the European Space Agency.
His mission was named Principia after Sir Isaac Newton’s landmark work describing the laws of motion and gravity.
During his time in space he worked up to 14 hours a day, participating in experiments devised by scientists from around the world.
He said the highlight of his mission was the space walk he conducted with Col Kopra in January to repair electrical components on the outside of the space station.
A former helicopter pilot in the army, Maj Peake graduated from the University of Portsmouth with a BSc (Hons) in Flight Dynamics and Evaluation.
On his sixth-month mission to the International Space Station in December 2015, heran the London Marathon on a treadmill whilst conducting various scientific experiments throughout his time.
When he returned from space in June, Maj Peak said he would return to space ‘in a heartbeat.’
Lucky members of the public got an insight into his life on the International Space Station when he gave a talk in Portsmouth Guildhall last year.