tim-peake

Take two! Astronaut Tim Peake is returning to space

Ainhoa Barcelona

Tim Peake's astronomical wish has been granted. The British astronaut has announced that he is returning to space, after saying last year that he would do so "in a heartbeat".

Major Peake, 44, will return to the International Space Station for a second mission with the European Space Agency.

A mission date has not yet been revealed, although it's likely it will happen between 2019 and 2024. The next European astronaut to launch into space will be Italian Paolo Nespoli in May.

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Major Peake will return to the International Space Station for a second mission

Tim made the announcement at the Science Museum on Thursday during the unveiling of the capsule that carried him into space. The Soyuz TMA-19M has been refurbished, but still has a "few scars" after it was singed during re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere.

Tim posed for a photo with his beloved spacecraft and tweeted: "Special moment @sciencemuseum this morning - reunited with Soyuz TMA-19M now on display, showing a few scars from reentry."

Speaking to Sky News, the father-of-two said: "It's what every astronaut wants to do. Myself and my classmates from 2009, we are all going to get the second mission to the space station which is wonderful.

"The work that is being done on board the space station is incredibly important and also tremendously exciting as well. It is only natural to want to return. The one thing you miss is the view of planet Earth, of course. It is the most spectacular thing you can possibly see."

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"It's what every astronaut wants to do," he said

Tim spent six months in space, from December 2015 to June 2016. He was honoured in the Queen's 2016 Birthday Honours list shortly before his return to Earth. He was on the International Space Station when he received the news he would become a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George for services to space research and scientific education.

The British astronaut met Prince Charles one month after coming home. "Are you sure you're in one piece?" Charles asked Major Peake, who revealed that his Soyuz capsule experienced extreme temperatures on its return to Earth and landed with the force of a small car crash.

Tim replied that he was "feeling great" but it had taken a while to adjust to being back on solid ground. "It does take a while – took a week for the balance to return," he said, adding that he was "now feeling absolutely great."

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