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Seven things you need to know about the Tim Peake space launch today

Samantha Baines

A fella from Chichester is going into space today! No seriously, we shouldn't penalise Tim Peake for not being a Londoner – it's a momentous occasion for Britain and here are seven things you need to know about the space launch and our man in the sky.

1. Top five 'ain't bad

Tim Peake is the first official Briton in space. Four other Britons have been to space, although they were working for NASA and so had US citizenship.

2. He's got a head for heights.

Peake's always had his head in the clouds. By the age of 18 he had already piloted a plane and had 40 hours of flying time under his belt.

3. Astronauts do those team-building days too

Tim and his team spent a week cave training in Sardinia as a team-building exercise. I bet they didn't do that thing where you close your eyes and fall backwards into a work colleague's arms. Scary stuff.

4. He's launching from Borat's homeland

The launch will take place in Baikonur, Kazakhstan, at 11.02 GMT today, December 15. International Space Station rendezvous is expected at 16.58 GMT and hatch opening at 18.33 GMT. They're very precise, these space agencies.

5. He'll be away all winter

Tim will live in space for six months and will arrive back to Earth in June – so basically he's holidaying for the winter.

6. It's a marathon, not a sprint

Tim will be the first person to run the London marathon in space next April! He'll be running the 26.2 miles on a treadmill on the International Space Station as the race unfolds down on Earth.

7. London's having a party

Even though the launch will be televised live on BBC, Londoners can get involved with celebratory events going on throughout the day at the Science Museum and the Natural History Museum.

Find out more about Principia Lates: The UK's Biggest Space Celebration at the Science Museum.

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