Yes it is rocket science - Leeds pupils embark on experiment with astronaut Tim Peake

Astronaut Tim Peake has been in space since December 2015 Credit: Press Association

Pupils at a primary school in Leeds will today plant rocket seeds as part of an experiment with astronaut Tim Peake.

Clapgate Primary is one of thousands of schools taking part in a nationwide research project to see how gravity affects the seeds, and to encourage children to get more involved in science.

In September, 2kg of rocket seeds were flown to the International Space Station on Soyuz 44S where they spent several months in microgravity before returning to Earth in March 2016.

Click below to watch as Tim Peake explains the experiment.

After 100 seeds are planted today, they will grow alongside seeds that haven’t been to space, so the differences can be measured over seven weeks. Pupils won’t know which seed packet contains which seeds until all results have been collected by the RHS Campaign for School Gardening and analysed by professional biostatisticians.

The UK Space Agency says it hopes the science experiment will enable young people to to think more about what astronauts need to survive long-term missions in space and the difficulties surrounding growing fresh food in challenging climates.