Mission X – Train Like an Astronaut!

‘Astronaut training’ to blast off at schools across the UK

With the Olympics just behind us and the next generation inspired to follow a fit and healthy lifestyle, astronauts will be picking up where Olympians left off, inspiring UK students to get off the sofa and start training.

Budding young astronauts aged 8 to 13 from across the UK are invited to take part in the international challenge Mission X: Train Like an Astronaut – a programme to encourage school students to focus more on fitness and nutrition.

Supported by the UK Space Agency, as part of the international Mission X challenge, the UK mission blasts off in January 2013.  Registration for Mission X 2013 is now open and those who have already enrolled for the mission will soon receive their mission briefing.

The programme uses astronaut training to teach how diet and exercise play an important role in human performance in space and on the Earth. The activities can be used by individuals, schools, or community groups and are free to all.

4000 UK students from over 44 British schools have already taken part in the Mission X challenges in 2011 and 2012.  Students had the opportunity to take part in live link-ups with the International Space Station and find out about life in space.  Mission X UK has been supported by British ESA astronaut Tim Peake, ESA astronauts Andre Kuipers and Paolo Nespoli, NASA astronaut Piers Sellers and private astronaut Richard Garriott.   Lucy Hawking, author and daughter of Stephen Hawking, is also an ambassador for Mission X 2013.

Jeremy Curtis, Head of Education at the UK Space Agency, noted, “This is a unique opportunity for children in the UK to find out first hand about astronaut training. Through Mission X UK, the UK Space Agency is enabling children to access astronaut training and healthy nutrition regimes and to learn about the science behind them. The children taking part will also learn about space and may even be the space explorers of the future.”

British ESA astronaut Tim Peake commented, “Being fit and healthy is a key requirement for future astronauts. Spaceflight can be physically demanding and part of my job is to train hard so that I‘m always ready to go into space. It’s much easier to exercise on Earth than in microgravity! The real mission is to encourage kids today to exercise and eat a healthy diet, and astronaut training exercises are an exciting, fun way to do it.”

Space is a growing industry with a bright future. One of the ways the UK Space Agency nourishes and supports it is by inspiring the next generation of space scientists, engineers and enthusiasts.

To find out more about Mission X go to:


For further information please contact SpaceMascotUK@gmail.com and we will put you in touch with the relevant person.

Mission X

Mission X was designed by NASA to encourage school students between 8 and 12 years old to be more physically active. It uses astronaut training to teach how good diet and exercise play an important role in human performance in space and on Earth.

Mission X 2012 was launched from the International Space Station by astronaut Andre Kuipers on 02 February 2012. Over the six week programme participants took part in a range of science, nutrition and exercise challenges from crew strength training to climbing Martian mountains, building rockets and testing space food.

For more information on Mission X in the UK: http://www.bis.gov.uk/ukspaceagency/discover-and-learn/mission-x-in-the-uk

For more information on the international Mission X programme visit:


Tim Peake, ESA Astronaut

For a biography please visit: http://www.esa.int/esaHS/SEMFEK0OWUF_astronauts_0.html

Venture Thinking

Venture Thinking is an educational consultancy company founded by Essex businesswoman Heather MacRae. Mission X is a UK Space Agency outreach project operated with Venture Thinking. Heather MacRae has previously managed the outreach programmes of Richard Garriott and been instrumental in arranging visits by NASA astronauts Mark Kelly, Piers Sellers to schools.


UK Space Agency

The UK Space Agency is at the heart of UK efforts to explore and benefit from space.  It is responsible for all strategic decisions on the UK civil space programme and provides a clear, single voice for UK space ambitions.

The UK Space Agency is responsible for ensuring that the UK retains and grows a strategic capability in the space-based systems, technologies, science and applications. It leads the UK’s civil space programme in order to win sustainable economic growth, secure new scientific knowledge and provide benefits to all citizens.

The UK Space Agency:

  • Co-ordinates UK civil space activity
  • Encourages academic research
  • Supports the UK space industry
  • Raises the profile of UK space activities at home and abroad
  • Increases understanding of space science and its practical benefits
  • Inspires our next generation of UK scientists and engineers
  • Licences the launch and operation of UK spacecraft
  •  Promotes co-operation and participation in the European Space programme

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