British astronaut Tim Peake will complete the London marathon aboard the ISS (International Space Station), it has recently been reported.
Back in April 2015, it was announced that organizers of the Virgin Money London Marathon had joined forces with the creators of RunSocial, a treadmill video app, in order to develop the world’s first digital marathon experience.
Now, this competition will be joined by 43-year old Tim Peake, who will be launched into space from the Baikonur cosmodrome located in Kazakhstan, on December 15, alongside U.S. astronaut Tim Kopra, and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malencheko.
The trio will spend 173 days as part of the International Space Station’s crew, having been scheduled to land back on Earth on June 5.
Peak is known as a fitness aficionado, having already competed in the Virgin Money London Marathon back in 1999, when his time was of 3 hours, 18 minutes and 50 seconds.
Now, he will be covering the same route measuring 26.2 miles using a recently launched video app. Basically, what he will do is run on a treadmill, while being supported by a harness consisting in shoulder straps and a waistbelt, whose role will be that of countering the effects of zero gravity.
The experience promises to be quite taxing for the body, given the pressures exerted by this fastening device which looks similar to a backpack, so it’s unlikely that Peak will break any personal records, but he still hopes to complete the race in less than 4 hours.
After all, the British astronaut has already proved his resilience during his NASA training, which required him to endure extreme conditions, in a Sardinian cave and on the ocean floor, off Florida’s coast line.
Even so, throughout the competition, the spaceman’s vital signs will be tracked by the European Astronaut Center, so as to make sure that his health isn’t imperiled in any way.
Peak’s sprint will occur simultaneously with that of the other 37,000 marathon runners who will take to the streets of London on April 24.
Thanks to the marathon app which he will be accessing via his iPad, the astronaut will be able to watch a real-time, high-resolution video of the race, and even see his own digital version actively competing with other runners who will be physically present at the event.
This is quite mind-boggling, considering the fact that he will actually be around 250 miles away from our planet’s surface, and orbiting it at more than 17,000 miles per hour.
The reason why Peake has decided to participate in this event is linked not only to his passion for running, but also to his intention of promoting a non-profit organization known as The Prince’s Trust.
The charity was created by Prince Charles and Frederick John Pervin almost 4 decades ago, in order to provide education, mentoring and employment to underprivileged teenagers and young adults, aged between 13 and 30.
The Prince’s Trust will also be represented at the London Marathon by a group of actual runners, who have chosen the fitting name of Team Astronaut.
Image Source: Flickr