By Tim Peake
People outside the UK might not have heard of Tim Peake but here in the UK he’s a bit of a celeb. Tim is the second astronaut to come from Britain after Helen Sharman who went into space in 1991 but most people have forgotten about her, which, somehow, seems a bit wrong.
Tim Peake started out as a helicopter pilot in the British Army Air Corps later becoming a helicopter instructor before moving on to be helicopter test pilot. He holds the rank of Major in the British Army meaning that the media have great fun calling him Major Tim, which seems fair.
Being a bit of a science geek, I thought this book was a great read. It’s written in the form of a series of short passages describing various elements of life aboard the International Space Station (ISS), the process of getting there and the return journey. It’s written in chronological order with sections on launch, training (which I suppose isn’t in chronological order but the rest is), life on the ISS, spacewalking, Earth and space and return to earth.
Let me say this again clearly, this is a brilliant book. It’s not great literature but it is just what it says it is and for a science geek it’s great fun. Because Major Tim is a sort of ambassador for space to kids of all ages he does a lot of media events and, naturally, gets lots of questions. He’s taken those questions and added them to his own thoughts and observations about the life of an astronaut and written the book as a sort of Q&A mixed with short essays of, perhaps, 500 words maximum on everything you might think of. Read this and, undoubtedly, you will be surprised by what you learn. It’s not just full of the normal schoolboy obsessions of how to you go to the toilet in space (although that’s in there) and how you do your laundry (you don’t) but there are so many surprising things you’ll learn.
Five out of five stars