Tim Peake spent an eventful and busy six months in space. Can the children imagine that they are Tim on board the International Space Station writing a letter home, explaining what it is like on board and what they miss about home?
Tim Peake (1972–) is a British astronaut who became famous when he spent six months living and working on the International Space Station (ISS) in 2015/16. He was the first British astronaut to board the ISS, a laboratory 400 kilometres from Earth. Learn more about this brave, adventurous man and then make use our collection of printable resources below.
- Tim telephoned his family from the ISS, but dialled the wrong number by mistake! He asked 79-year-old Betty Barker, ‘Hello, is that planet Earth?’ She hung up because she thought someone was playing tricks!
- Tim ran the equivalent of the London Marathon on a treadmill on the ISS, on the same day the race took place on Earth. He set the world record for the fastest marathon in space (3 hours, 35 minutes and 21 seconds).
- When he wasn’t working, Tim enjoyed taking some amazing photographs from the ISS. One of his favourites was a picture of the Milky Way he took while brushing his teeth!
Tim Peake Quotes
"Don’t let anybody tell you you can't do anything."
“The best ride I’ve been on ever.”
A Short Biography of Tim Peake
Tim Peake was born in Chichester, West Sussex, in 1972, and grew up with his sister Fiona, his mother Angela (a midwife) and his father Nigel (a journalist).
Tim’s fascination with flying began as a child when his dad took him to air shows. On leaving school, Tim trained at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, and joined the British Army Air Corps. He served for nearly 18 years in Northern Ireland, Germany, Bosnia, Afghanistan, Kenya and Canada. Tim flew planes and helicopters. He also spent time with the US Army, trained as a test pilot (a dangerous job flying new aircraft) and gained a degree in flight dynamics.
In 2008, Tim saw an online advertisement recruiting new astronauts for the European Space Agency (ESA). Of more than 8,000 applicants, Tim was one of 900 shortlisted for a year-long assessment. Meanwhile, Tim retired from the British Army (as Major Tim Peake) and went to work as a helicopter test pilot. But a few months into this new job, he got a phone call from ESA offering him one of six places as an astronaut!
Tim moved to Cologne, Germany, with his wife Rebecca and their young son to begin training. Tim had to learn Russian and he practised wearing a spacesuit under water to experience the feeling of zero-gravity. He also spent a week in a damp, dark underground cave in Sardinia, and 12 days in an underwater laboratory, 20 metres below the sea. The cramped conditions and limited food supplies were a bit like life in space.
In 2013, ESA announced Tim’s mission to the ISS – called Principia (after Isaac Newton’s famous books on gravity). With US astronaut Tim Kopra and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko, their rocket launched from Kazakhstan in December 2015, on a six-hour journey into space.
They joined three astronauts already onboard the ISS. There they set to work on experiments designed to help people on Earth and to improve future space missions. They investigated the effects of space travel on the human body, for example, looked at how food grows in space, and monitored the Earth’s climate. Tim also became the first British astronaut to do a spacewalk. On 15 January, he and Tim Kopra ventured outside the ISS for four hours, making repairs.
In June 2016, Tim, Kopra and Malenchenko returned to Earth. This time the journey took three hours. Tim was looking forward to having a pizza! He then travelled back to Germany to spend time with his family and to undertake further tests. Tim had orbited Earth about 3,000 times, travelling about 125 million kilometres at an average speed of 27,000 kph, and his body needed time to recover.
Tim received an award from the Queen for his services to space research and scientific education. His enthusiasm for the job and regular communications with Earth helped to inspire a generation of children – and adults alike – to learn more about the depths of our solar system and the possibilities of future space travel.
Our Tim Peake Resources
Lots of people would love the chance to be an astronaut, but what skills do you need to have and what are the responsibilities of this unique job? This worksheet asks the kids to write a job description for the position!
Astronaut Tim Peake has already received an award from the Queen, but can the children design their own award for him?
Astronauts eat three meals a day on the International Space Station, just as they do on Earth, but there are some difficulties with eating in space.
Here's a space-themed activity with a difference! Can the children colour in this postcard of the International Space Station and then write it pretending they've been there? Or you could send it to someone after a visit to a space exhibition?
Perhaps the kids can use this International Space Station newspaper writing prompt to write about a space walk like the one astronaut Tim Peake completed, or write a creative story set on board the ISS?
Use our International Space Station notebooking page for your space-themed writing projects. We have two different page designs, one with space for a diagram or drawing,
Here's a fun writing project if you're learning about space as a topic. Can the kids write a postcard pretending that they have just visited the International Space Station?
This poster of the International Space Station is perfect for a space-themed display! Print using the borderless settings on your printer for the best results.
Here's a fun activity that's perfect for kids who love everything about space! Learn to draw astronaut Tim Peake with our easy step-by-step guide.
Here's a worksheet that's lots of fun but gets the kids thinking too. Can they imagine they have to pack this suitcase for a 3-month stay on the International Space Station or in a spacecraft? They'll need to really think carefully about each item!
Tim Peake was an inspiration to children everywhere after his mission to the International Space Station! Print this picture of him for the kids to colour in.
This worksheet contains an interesting piece of text all about Tim Peake's life and achievements. Can the kids read the information then answer some questions at the end?
You might already know a few facts about Tim Peake, but maybe learn a few more by reading our simple factsheet all about him?
You may have seen Tim Peake interviewed on television before, but what if you were the host and could ask the questions? This worksheet asks the kids to imagine just that!
Perhaps the kids can use this Tim Peake newspaper writing prompt to write about his mission on the International Space Station, including his spacewalk?
This handy notebooking page has a photograph of Tim Peake - can the children find out about his interesting life and record it on this handy page, and maybe draw a picture in the space provided? We also have a version with just lines too.
"Life in orbit is spectacular." Tim Peake is lucky enough to speak from experience after his space travels! Print this quote poster using the borderless settings on your printer for the best results.
This worksheet features an inspirational quote by Tim Peake - can the children write about what it means and then rewrite it in their own words?
Use our story paper to write about Tim Peake - and of course, the children can colour in the picture of him wearing his spacesuit too!
This second story paper for Tim Peake includes a photo of him in his spacesuit. It's perfect for the kids to summarise what they have learned about him and his time on the International Space Station.
Tim Peake has already achieved some great things in his life, including going to space! Fill in the important events in his life so far on our timeline.
Use this simple worksheet to record information that you already know or can find out about astronaut Tim Peake.
Choose one of the Tim Peak writing pages below and use it to record what you learn about the famous astronaut, or perhaps do some creative writing instead?