Pushing the boundaries of the human species

Tim Peake

Official NASA portrait of British astronaut Timothy Peake.

This lunchtime Astronaut Tim Peake will make British space history becoming the first member of the UK to officially undertake a space walk. He and his colleague will spend a whopping 6hours and 30minutes outside the International Space Station to fix a solar panel. At 12:55pm (GMT) this lunchtime you can watch the events unfold live online via NASA from 11:30am (GMT).

I was thinking about this on my way back from fitness class this morning. I marvelled at the fact these people will be quite literally pushing the boundaries of the human species and what we can achieve. Today I will sit at my desk and put some words to page (hopefully!). No contrast really. But then I got to thinking how PhD students push different boundaries – we push the limits of academic research, or at least we are supposed to. So today as I undertake my own academic “space walk” I will be thinking of Major Peake and his colleagues as they float outside the ISS pushing themselves mentally and physically and brining humanity that one tiny step closer to life in space.

So, one wordy step closer to a PhD for me and one weightless step for Major Tim Peake.

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