Space & Innovation

British Astronaut To Run London Marathon in Space

The UK's first astronaut aboard the ISS will run the London Marathon while the race happens on Earth.

Just becoming an astronaut wasn't enough of a marathon experience for Tim Peake.

The UK's first International Space Station astronaut announced that he's planning to run the London Marathon in April at the same time participants are racing on Earth.

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Peake is no stranger to distance running. He ran the London Marathon on the ground in 1999 and finished in 3 hours, 18 minutes and 50 seconds, according to the European Space Agency. He's not trying to beat that time from space, though. Simply running in space is hard.

He'll have a treadmill, but microgravity poses a bunch of challenges. A harness system will prevent him from floating away, but it doesn't sound like much fun. Peake described it to the ESA as a rucksack with a waistbelt and shoulder straps.

"After about 40 minutes, that gets very uncomfortable," he said in a statement. "I don't think I'll be setting any personal bests. I've set myself a goal of anywhere between 3:30 to 4 hours."

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The upside is that Peake will be running as a digital participant, and he'll have access to virtual views of the real race from his iPad. "The thing I'm most looking forward to is that I can still interact with everybody down on Earth," he said. He'll also be raising awareness for the British charity the Prince's Trust.

Currently Peake is in Kazakhstan with Russian commander Yuri Malenchenko and NASA astronaut Tim Kopra preparing for their Dec. 15 space launch. Hopefully he packed something to help prevent chafing.

via Tech Times

On Tuesday (Oct. 7), NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman and European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst ventured outside of the International Space Station to carry out some clean-up work left over from a December emergency spacewalk and to begin tackling an electrical wiring project. The duo, both spacewalk rookies, completed all their assigned tasks in 6 hours and 13 minutes. During their extra vehicular activities (EVA), both astronauts captured some stunning snapshots of their adventures on the space station exterior. A few are showcased here, including this out-of-this-world self portrait by German national Gerst.

All in a day's work for a space station crew!

MORE: Stunning View from the Space Station, Front Row Seat

When working on the space station exterior, safety is paramount. Like climbers, astronauts must be harnessed to the station at all times and, in this shot, Wiseman passes a tether hook to Gerst.

Surrounded by a mass of space station hardware, Wiseman can be seen hard at work under the dazzling glare of the sun.

To distinguish between Wiseman and Gerst, Wiseman's spacesuit has red stripes, whereas Gerst's does not.

Gerst snaps a sunlit photo of his spacesuit helmet with reflective Extravehicular Visor Assembly closed.

Wiseman continues to work on the space station exterior.

Looking down on Earth, Gerst snapped this stunning photograph of Wiseman working on the space station's coolant system.

Gerst shows off a custom-made power drill that helped the spacewalkers tighten and loosen bolts in the vacuum environment of space.

The European Columbus laboratory module looms behind Gerst as he moves the cooling system module to a more permanent location.

Apparently unfazed by his altitude, Gerst photographs his legs that have been harnessed to the space station's robotic Canadarm2 while carrying out upgrades on the station's exterior. The camera's fisheye lens captures the station's huge solar arrays in shot.

Space station astronauts experience 15 sunrises and sunsets every day, so the spacewalkers had to work through "day" and "night" several times during their 6 hour 13 minute spacewalk. As they passed into Earth's shadow, Gerst's spacesuit lights could be turned on to help him continue work at night.

"Safe to say, this was the most amazing thing I have done in my life. #spacewalk #EVA27,"

Gerst tweeted

with this photograph of him tethered to the space station's robotic Canadarm2 while moving the defunct cooling system.

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