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Tim Peake historic spacewalk ends early

Major Tim Peake has become the first British astronaut to walk in space. Credit: NASA

Nasa has ended the spacewalk involving UK astronaut Tim Peake after his US colleague reported water in his helmet.

Tim Kopra reported a "small amount" of water, but the flight director took the precaution of ending the event early. Nasa confirm that there was never any danger, just precaution was taken.

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The spacewalk officially ended at 17:31 GMT. Tim Peake and Tim Kopra are now both safely back inside the airlock.

Wiltshire astronaut Tim Peake to make first spacewalk later this month

Tim Peake arrived on 15 December to begin a six-month mission on the complex. Credit: PA

The ex-army pilot, turned astronaut, from Wiltshire will take part in his first spacewalk from the International Space Station on January 15.

NASA has confirmed that Tim Peake along with fellow astronaut Tim Kopra will take part in a joint operation to replace a failed voltage regulator that affected one of the space station's 8 power channels in November.

Major Peake confirmed the announcement via Twitter.

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Tim Peake lives and normally works in Wiltshire and used to be a test pilot with AgustaWestland in Yeovil.

He arrived on 15 December to begin a six-month mission on the complex.

Major Tim Peake gave the thumbs up as he blasted off into space last year. Credit: NASA


Wiltshire astronaut prepares to head into space

Wiltshire astronaut prepares to head into space Credit: EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY

Britain is about to send its first official astronaut up to the International Space Station. But until now he's been more at home a little closer to the ground here in the west. Major Tim Peake is an ex-Army pilot from Wiltshire who's spent time testing aircraft for the helicopter manufacturer Agusta Westland in Yeovil. Daisy Gray has this report:

Wiltshire astronaut prepares for life on the International Space Station

Tim Peake, from Wiltshire, will be setting off for the International Space Station in December Credit: PA

An astronaut from Wiltshire is preparing to jet to the International Space Station next month, as the first British citizen to be selected for astronaut training by the European Space Agency.

43-year-old Tim Peake, who used to work at Agasta Westland in Yeovil, will embark on a six-month stint on the International Space Station, leaving Earth on a Russian Soyuz rocket.

Mr Peake today admitted he was a little nervous.

"On launch day, of course there's going to be some apprehension."

"You're sat on top of 300 tonnes of fuel and you're basically just going to be focused on the mission and what's to come. It's important to say goodbye to friends and family and just draw a line and really focus on the mission ahead."

– Tim Peake, astronaut

A key aspect of the mission's link to the UK will be to engage with every school in the country and offer lessons about Mr Peake's work.

He will not only take part in a series of experiments - some calling on him to become a "guinea pig" to research asthma, the immune system and the ageing process - but engage with the public through social media.

Mr Peake will follow in the footsteps of Helen Sharman, who travelled to space in 1991 on a privately-funded venture.

He says there's been a decline in interest in the key industries from youngsters because of the UK's lack of visible human space flight programs.

But his advice to aspiring astronauts is simple: "You have to just take every step as it comes, and you have to do what you're passionate about and what you want to do."

He added:

"I left school at 18 and decided to become a pilot. Many people may have said at the time that was a bad choice - that you should be going to university, you should be getting a higher education."

"For me, it worked out great - it was what I wanted to do, it was what I was passionate about - and I was able to get a degree later in life."

"Sometimes, your career takes you through various different paths and you're not quite sure where you're going to end up."

– Tim Peake, astronaut
A view of the earth from the International Space Station. Credit: European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti

Space missions, while valuable for research, also capture the imagination of spectators around the world - as demonstrated by the popular YouTube videos of Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield.

But unlike Col. Hadfield, Mr Peake said he will not be performing any David Bowie covers.

He said: "I don't think I'm at the stage where I'm prepared to unleash that on the worldwide audience."

Maybe he'll change his mind - in the meantime, here's Col. Hadfield's Space Oddity.

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