Get ready for 3 days of truly spectacular telly, because Channel 4's Live From Space season kicks off tonight at 9pm.

Why is this a big deal? Because it'll be Gravity but IN REAL LIFE.

We'll be starting with Living In Space, a documentary about the astronauts who spend months at a time at the International Space Station (ISS).

On Thursday, we head over for a look at Mission Control and then Friday brings this cosmic bonanza to an awesome climax with a 90-minute live broadcast from ISS.

Did you know that Britain has a fully fledged astronaut now? You'll meet Major Tim Peake on tonight's show but, first, FHM caught up with him to hear how he’s gone from a small village in Chichester to blasting into outer space...


I got the call saying I was going to be an astronaut
on a Monday evening. I was having dinner with my wife and the phone rang asking me if I’d like to start my training. I said, “Yes, that would be wonderful.”

It was one of those things that happened through opportunity. I was in the right place at the right time and with the right qualifications when the European Space Agency had their selection in 2008.

Out of 10,000 candidates that applied, I was one of the lucky six that got selected.

Just like any young boy, you go through a phase of wanting to be an astronaut from the age of about four.

My upbringing in a small village in Chichester was very normal. My parents were very normal too: my mother was a midwife and my dad a journalist.

I lived underwater for 12 days last year. It was in a submarine bolted to the ocean floor while we tried to come up with ways of working and landing on asteroids in the future.

The best way to deal with pressure is to be confident, and the best way to be confident is to be well trained. I’ve always relied on the fact that if I know what I’m doing, I can think through any problems.

On board the International Space Station, there’s no doctor, no plumber, no electrician, nothing. You’re the one that has to fix absolutely everything.  

Of course there’s danger involved when you’re sat in that rocket, but you have to accept that.

The missions that haven’t gone to plan have to go to the back of your mind. They’re more often than not down to huge, catastrophic technical failures.


Sci-fi films are still enjoyable for me. I just take them with a pinch of salt, like anybody, and enjoy the cheesiness.

I actually chose to watch Armageddon the other day. My team and I had to undergo 18 hours of decompression after the underwater asteroid tests, so we thought, “What better film than one in which they land on an asteroid and save the world?”

There’s been plenty of times where I could have chosen an easier route or bypassed a difficulty, but I’ve always been one to grab an opportunity, because it might not appear again.

It sounds corny, but my proudest moment was becoming a father.

My youngest boy thinks that I’m just pretending to be an astronaut. He’s just getting into Lego rockets and things, and thinks that what I do is as much of a game as what he does with his toys.

I never thought I’d make it, but as I got closer and closer to the final I thought, “Wow, this could actually be a dream come true.”

Never try to be anybody but yourself. You will get found out. It’s very true in what I’ve done. Some people will try to bluff their way to a certain level, but they’ll get found out. Just be confident in your own abilities.

Follow Tim Peake on Twitter here.