(Mirror Daily, United States) – A British astronaut will run the London Marathon from space, and, in the process, become the first man to do so. There is no boundary it seems that is too tough to break. Astronaut Tim Peake is set to test his body and physical endurance in an already taxing environment when he will board the International Space Station (ISS).
On December 15th, 2015, Major Peake, a former helicopter pilot, will launch along with two other astronauts on a 173 day-long journey. He will launch from Baikonur Cosmodrome Kazakhstan, and fly over to the ISS, to return on June 5th of next year. It’s an experience of a life time, that he means to further enhance by becoming the first man to run a marathon from space.
The British astronaut will participate in the London Marathon that will start on April 24th of next year. It’s a worldwide event that he means to expand to outside the limits of our planet. He will be boarded 249 miles away from Earth, running on a treadmill with the ongoing marathon in front of him. According to Peake, he will be watching it on the big screen.
The problem will be that microgravity does not allow for traditional means of running. Peake will float away unless he harnesses himself down to the treadmill. This will imply equipment that will be roughly the equivalent of running with a backpack, which will add more weight and probably add to the discomfort. This in addition to the physical strain of actually running 26.2 miles.
Although this will be the first marathon Peake, or anyone else, runs from space, the 43 year-old astronaut is a seasoned runner. Back in 1999, he completed the London Marathon in 3 hours and18 minutes. However, he’s not expecting to beat that personal record. Due to the extraneous circumstances, the added equipment, and the advanced age, Peake doubts he will be setting a personal best.
However, he had placed the ambitious goal onto himself to finish the entire course of the track in between 3.5 to 4 hours. The target is set relatively high, meant to inspire a generation of children to pursue science and physical education. It’s a crucial factor for astronauts to maintain fitness in such a difficult environment. Exposure to space and zero gravity can lead to loss of muscle mass and bone density.
It seems fair to think that Peake will not be battling any of those problems. His physical training is likely to continue until April, before he finally takes part in the London Marathon.
Image source: rocketstem.org