ISS Astronaut Will Run the London Marathon In Space

Friday, 04 December 2015 - 4:23PM
Science News
ESA
Friday, 04 December 2015 - 4:23PM
ISS Astronaut Will Run the London Marathon In Space
In April, thousands of runners will be getting ready to run a marathon through the city of London, and ESA astronaut Tim Peake will be doing the same, but from about 250 miles up, on the International Space Station.

Peake, who ran the marathon on Earth in 1999, will run the full 42 km on a treadmill. He will start at the same time as all of the 30,000 runners in the London Marathon, at 5pm ET on April 24.

Opening quote
"The thing I'm most looking forward to is that I can still interact with everybody down on Earth," Peake said in a statement. "I'll be running it with the iPad and watching myself running through the streets of London whilst orbiting the Earth at 400km."
Closing quote

Although it might sound easy to run a marathon in zero gravity, it is actually more difficult than running the marathon on Earth. In order to counteract the effects of zero gravity, he has to wear a harness to strap himself to the treadmill and keep from floating away. His medical team will also be monitoring him during the run, in order to ensure that he's healthy for his return to Earth.

Opening quote
"I have to wear a harness system that's a bit similar to a rucksack. It has a waistbelt and shoulder straps. That has to provide quite a bit of downforce to get my body onto the treadmill so after about 40 minutes, that gets very uncomfortable."
Closing quote


As a result of these difficulties, Peake doesn't expect to beat his Earth time, which was 3 hours and 18 minutes.

Opening quote
"I don't think I'll be setting any personal bests. I've set myself a goal of anywhere between 3:30 to 4 hours."
Closing quote

Peake is currently in Baikonur, Kazakhstan, awaiting his imminent launch to the ISS on December 15. He will run the London Marathon to raise awareness for The Prince's Trust, which aims to help young people facing issues such as homelessness or mental illness find career and education opportunities. 
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