A former army helicopter pilot was on Monday named as the first "home-grown" British astronaut to head to the International Space Station.
Major Tim Peake, 41, will fly out to the ISS in November 2015 as part of a six-man crew, becoming the first Briton ever to travel to space on a British government-funded mission.
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British-born astronauts have previously gone into orbit as US citizens through NASA, or on privately-funded ventures organized with Russian help.
Peake said it was a "true privilege" to have been chosen from more than 8,000 applicants for the six-month mission.
"The mission to the International Space Station is going to be a wonderful opportunity, not just for Europe and European science but the UK as well," he said at a press conference in London.
Prime Minister David Cameron said it was "a momentous day, not just for Tim Peake but for Great Britain".
"I am sure he will do us proud and I hope that he will inspire the next generation to pursue exciting careers in science and engineering," the prime minister said.