Tim Peak runs the London Marathon in Space
At 10am on the 24th of April Tim Peake ran the Virgin Money London Marathon, for the Princes Trust. Running the 26.2 miles (42.2 Km) on a virtual course set up on the International Space Station, he ran alongside Team Astronaut, an Earth based group made up of staff from the UK Space agency and the European Space Agency, who ran the London Marathon along the official route.
Watch Tim Peake Running the London Marathon in Space
Follow them on twitter using the hashtag #TeamAstronaut. They also opened the London Marathon Expo.
Fitness is really important for an Astronaut, without the pull of gravity blood and other liquids do not get pulled towards the ground and so there are less liquids in the lower body and more in the upper. This has the effect of confusing the body, or more technically, Osteopenia due to a lack of gravitational stress on the bones, into getting rid of calcium from the bones. A similar effect on the Heart makes the body feel that it requires less blood so a lot of it is lost through wee, muscles also shrink due to less effort required to move around and organs change shape without any force pulling them down.
Watch Dr Jonathan Scott & Libby Jackson, who ran the Virgin Money London Marathon in replica space suits
To combat these effects Astronauts need to be very fit before they go into space, exercising for two hours a day, three days a week, this keeps them in peak fitness on Earth so that there bodies take longer to deteriorate to the point they would suffer serious health risks upon their return.
Astronauts also continue to exercise while in space, training for two hours per day to reduce the damaging effects of long duration space missions. This will be even more important should humans ever live and work in Space, on the Moon or on Mars.
You can take part in space themed events too and find out about what is required to be an Astronaut at many different websites run by different space agencies and other space organisations, here are just a few.
An international effort to encourage people to keep fit and learn about space, they are supported by many groups and organisations including space agencies including NASA, ESA, JAXA and the UK Space Agency.
The Space to Earth Challenge
As part of the UK Space Agency’s Principa mission to encourage students across the UK to learn about Space and take an interest in what it is like to work and live in Space or in the space sector on Earth.
Schools and groups can run events and do activities, why not think of something you can do to celebrate Tim Peakes return on June the 5th.
One such activity is Team Astronaut, who are running to support the Princes Trust find out more here principia.org.uk
Or find out more about the Princes Trust at princes-trust.org.uk
Find out more at spacetoearthchallenge.org.uk
NASA Train like an Astronaut
NASA also have a large number of resources to get children and students into healthy living, they are also good fun for adults and teachers. Find out more on the Train Like an Astronaut page nasa.gov, they were also used by The Mars Generation, a charity that seeks to help people get fit, learn about human space flight and fund space camp for disadvantaged students themarsgeneration.org
More about the Virgin Money, London Marathon here virginmoneylondonmarathon.com
Find out more about life in space at esa.int
So take part, keep healthy and have fun, while learning about Space and our Universe.