Britain’s First Astronaut After More Than Two Decades | The Space Store News

Apache helicopter pilot Major Tim Peake is the first British astronaut after more than 20 years.

Major Tim Peake is a 41-year-old astronaut and one of the six that was chosen among the more than 8,000 European hopefuls. Peake will start his 6-month mission on November 2015.

via Britain’s First Astronaut After More Than Two Decades | The Space Store News.

I thought Think Defence would appreciate this. Peake is also the first British astronaut officially funded by the United Kingdom government.

The list of British astronauts on Wikipedia is kind of confusing. The “more than 20 years” seems to point to Helen Sharman, who flew on a Soyuz flight in 1991 or NASA astronaut Michael Foale, who has dual citizenship in the UK and US. Space tourist Mark Shuttleworth holds dual citizenship in South Africa and the UK. NASA astronauts Piers Sellers and Nicholas Patrick were born in the UK but became US citizens. NASA astronaut Gregory Johnson and space tourist Richard Garriott were born in the UK to US parents.

Anyway, congratulations to Major Peake! I’m looking forward to your flight.