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Artemis: British astronaut Tim Peake ‘would like to go to the Moon’ | Science | News


Major Peake, 50, was born in Chichester and spent 17 years flying helicopters for the British army prior to becoming an astronaut with the European Space Agency (ESA). Thus far, he’s the one British astronaut to have visited the International Space Station, having spent 186 days on the orbiting lab and accomplished an area walk back in 2015/16. Back in late July, Major Peake attended the Bluedot Festival — a music, science and culture event held on the Jodrell Bank Observatory in Cheshire — where he told attendees all in regards to the training he undertook to turn out to be an astronaut.

Despite the rigours of the training process, Mr Peake said: “I’d do all of it again.”

“I’d like to do one other spacewalk. [It was] absolutely implausible. I’d like to go to the moon. I’d like to go outside of low-Earth orbit.

“Talking to the Apollo astronauts, seeing the Earth from 400,000 kilometres away and seeing it disappear to the location of the Moon within the night sky — I feel that might be absolutely incredible.”

“For me, the best mission can be on certainly one of the Artemis missions that are returning to the Moon within the very near future.”

While the astronauts on the 2025 Artemis III mission — the primary to return to the Moon in greater than 50 years — are expected to be Americans, the participation of the ESA in the broader programme is anticipated to eventually see astronauts from Europe visit the Moon.

As Major Peake told attendees on the Bluedot Festival: “We’re a part of the Artemis programme, a very big a part of it.”

NASA deputy administrator Colonel Pamela Melroy told the Telegraph that Britain was already helping to determine lunar communications and that talks were already underway to extend our participation.

She added: “We’ve not yet sorted out when certainly one of our partners goes to fly.”

READ MORE: NASA Moon launch LIVE: Artemis mission SCRAPPED after engine issue

Asked if he would turn out to be the primary Briton to walk on the Moon, Major Peake was coy — but told the Telegraph that he was “glad the rumour was spreading!”

Before anyone can return to the Moon, nonetheless, NASA must first complete the Artemis II and II missions — an uncrewed after which crewed mission to place a capsule in lunar orbit.

Artemis I used to be scheduled to blast off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida this afternoon, but NASA officials halted the countdown 40 minutes before take-off before ultimately deciding to wash today’s launch as a result of engine problems.

Prior to launch, all 4 of the SLS’s core stage R-25 engines needed to be conditioned and delivered to the proper temperature for launch, but engine three didn’t respond as expected.

The following available launch window for the Artemis I mission is 12.48pm ET (5:48pm BST) September 2 — this Friday.

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