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Major Tim's parents celebrate spacewalk with a cuppa

Published 15/01/2016

Nigel Peake, father of British astronaut Tim Peake, speaks to him on the telephone earlier in his mission to the ISS
Nigel Peake, father of British astronaut Tim Peake, speaks to him on the telephone earlier in his mission to the ISS
Nigel Peake sent a 'Godspeed' message to his son

Major Tim Peake's parents have spoken of their pride and excitement as they settle down with a cup of tea to watch their son carry out his first spacewalk on TV.

Nigel Peake said he had seen the International Space Station (ISS) fly overhead from the garden of their home in Westbourne, Emsworth, Hampshire, and had sent "Godspeed" to his son, who will be the first Briton to carry out a spacewalk - referred to as an extra-vehicular activity (EVA).

Mr Peake said: "I think it's wonderfully exciting. I was watching the station going over this morning, it was a brilliant pass in clear blue skies. I gave him Godspeed and a good message from us.

"It seems quite surreal that your son is up there and then he is going to be outside it."

He added that carrying out a spacewalk had been a long-term ambition for his son.

"He's been longing to do this because he's been training so hard specifically with this possibility in mind," he said.

"Not everyone gets to do one, so to do one so early in the programme is wonderful."

He added jokingly: "I just hope that grin of his doesn't split the visor. It has been his total ambition, it's like Christmas Day every day."

Maj Peake's mother, Angela, said: "We are going to watch it on TV, we will celebrate with a cup of tea, maybe celebrate later.

"I am a little bit nervous but not particularly - they are very well trained, they have worked as a team for a very long time.

"It's more exciting, especially for Tim, that he has got to do a spacewalk because it is never sure. It's the pinnacle of being an astronaut to do an EVA.

"We are absolutely thrilled that everyone is so excited, this is a proud day."

Mrs Peake added: "We give grateful thanks to all the people who are involved - every time someone does anything there are people helping from all nationalities and from all over the world, it's really a story of international co-operation, it gives you hope.

"There are no politics, no language barriers, they just depend on each other, work together and help each other, all working to this peaceful end on medical and scientific experiments.

"It's lovely that all the kids have got involved and the schools have taken it to heart, carrying out so many experiments."

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