Dr Helen Mason OBE (Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics) has teamed up with astronaut Tim Peake to create sports and science activities for schools taking part in the Space to Earth Challenge.

I hope students across the UK will join me in my training

Tim Peake, astronaut

In December 2015 astronaut and keen triathlete Tim Peake will embark on the Principia mission, a long-duration flight to the International Space Station (ISS). He will be the first British ESA astronaut to visit the Space Station.

When he moves into his new home in space he would like children across the UK to exercise alongside him as he trains for two hours a day in the world’s highest and fastest-moving gym – travelling at 27,600km per hour and circling the world every 90 minutes.

So schools across the United Kingdom are being invited to take part in a new space race – to stride, swim, scoot and spin the 400km distance from the ISS to Earth.

The distance of 400km is just one of a series of space-themed challenges that students can try, which have been designed by experts from the University of Cambridge and Kings College London.

Dr Helen Mason OBE from Cambridge’s Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics is supporting the challenge through a range of activities linked with how astronauts and triathletes need to keep safe in the sun, and the ways in which the sun will affect Peake’s mission on the ISS.

Tim Peake said: “While exercising so far away in space I will have some amazing views, although I will miss the sights, sounds and fresh air of planet Earth. I hope students across the UK will join me in my training and share what they see as they work out back on Earth.”

Tim is especially keen on space-based training that will support his triathlon interests in cycling, running and swimming. Schools taking part in the Space to Earth Challenge will be encouraged to create their own “spaceathlon” trios of space, sport and science activities. 

Other activities include looking at how gravity and forces affect sports, and maths and physics activities made to support the Principia Mission.

Schools across the country can sign up for the free challenge and resources at: www.spacetoearthchallenge.org.uk

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