Tim Peake to help with space walk

Tim PeakeImage copyright

UK astronaut Tim Peake is to be involved in assisting two astronauts carry out a space walk outside the International Space Station (ISS) next week.

Fellow crew members Tim Kopra and Scott Kelly will go outside the ISS to fix a broken component, possibly as early as Monday, Nasa said.

“It will be a very busy and interesting day for Tim,” said Libby Jackson from the UK Space Agency.

Mr Peak arrived at the ISS on Tuesday.

He is the first UK astronaut to be employed as a professional astronaut by the European Space Agency.

Mission control

The space walk is taking place so the astronauts can try to fix a component called the “mobile transporter” – a rail that runs along much of the length of the space station, which a robotic arm can move along.

Mr Peake, who is spending six months in space, will be following the space walk from the inside, the BBC’s science correspondent Pallab Ghosh said.

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Tim Peake

Image caption

Room with a view: Tim Peake posted this picture to Twitter

His duties will involve getting the crew suited and out of the airlock while talking to mission control, he added.

The mobile transporter became stuck on Wednesday.

“The cause of the stall is being evaluated, but experts believe it may be related to a stuck brake handle,” said the mission’s operations manager, Kenny Todd.

The space walk will be the third in Mr Kelly’s career and the second for Mr Kopra.

Meanwhile, Mr Peake, who is spending his first weekend in space, has thanked the thousands of people around the world who sent him good luck messages.

Giving blood

His blog also contains a selection of some of the best messages from social media sites Twitter and Instagram.

As he does not have the time to reply to each message individually, he wrote: “The support for our launch was outstanding, and I want to thank each of you for the #GoodLuckTim messages.

“From the schoolchildren who watched the launch in class, people watching on the underground, and viewers outside of UK, your messages have shown how much interest there is in space and they mean a great deal to me.

“We are very busy up here but I promise to start sharing more of our life in space soon.”

The former Army aviator and helicopter test pilot has posted three pictures to his Twitter feed since Friday – one of the view towards Earth, one of him giving a thumbs-up to all his supporters and another of him giving blood for experiments being conducted in space.

On Friday, during a live link-up from the space platform, he said his first few days in space had been “absolutely spectacular”.

Answering questions from reporters gathered at the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany, he said the first two hours had been “pretty rough” and he had been feeling “disorientated and dizzy”.

But he was able to show them a backwards somersault and said he was surprised how quickly his body had adapted to weightlessness.

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