Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Out of This World British Invasion: Tim Peake Prepares for Spacewalk

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Out of This World British Invasion: Tim Peake Prepares for Spacewalk

Article excerpt

Tim Peake, known as "Major Tim" from the David Bowie song, "Space Oddity," is set for the first official British spacewalk.

One month to the day since he became Britain's first official representative in space, Mr. Peake is set to leave the International Space Station's interior Jan. 15 to help replace a voltage regulator that has failed, NASA has announced.

@astro_timpeake You'll be busy..but what about a live interview with the #BBCNewsChannel? We'll put you directly on air. No hanging around.-- Simon McCoy (@simonmccoy) January 5, 2016

The United Kingdom's residents are pretty excited about this, as well they might be. Peake will be the first Briton to wear the Union Jack outside in space, and space is - if the $57 million preview earnings of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" says anything - pretty cool these days.

A space exploration project on the scale of the International Space Station has benefits besides its contributions to science and rock music, however. It can serve as both a vehicle for the national pride that leads to "Major Tim" nicknames and a microcosm for international cooperation.

"As programmes become more ambitious, like the ISS and human missions to the Moon, asteroids, and Mars, they require more extensive international cooperation, and this creates opportunities to strengthen the capacity for peaceful, globally[226 128 144 ]coordinated activities in space and on Earth," according to a NASA paper on the "Benefits of Space Exploration."

When countries were just beginning to assemble parts for the station back in 1998, they predicted some of the project's diplomatic benefits, Brad Knickerbocker wrote for The Christian Science Monitor.

"It serves as a constant reminder that Russia is not the enemy, and that's a good thing," John Pike, then-director of space policy for the Federation of American Scientists, told The Christian Science Monitor. …

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