British astronaut Tim Peake hopes to return to space with first all-UK mission to International Space Station

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British astronaut Tim Peake hopes to take an all-British crew to the International Space Station (ISS), he has revealed to Sky’s FYI children’s news show.

“Possibly as early as next year, we’re taking four astronauts back [to the ISS] to do lots of science and lots of education outreach,” he said.

The 52-year-old became the first Briton to complete a spacewalk outside the ISS in 2016 and is one of only two astronauts Britain has ever sent to space.

“We’re hoping to announce the whole crew in June this year,” he told FYI.

Asked if he would be part of that mission, Major Peake replied: “Well, I very much hope so.”

Major Peake announced his decision to retire from being a European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut in January last year.

The UK Space Agency signed an agreement with Axiom Space in October, which could lead to the first all-UK mission to space.

The mission would see British astronauts spend a fortnight in orbit to carry out research and UK universities have been asked to share ideas for experiments which could be carried out in space during the time.

It would be a commercially sponsored trip, supported by the ESA.

Axiom, the US-based company working on the mission, is also trying to build the first commercial space station.

The company says the new station will “advance progress on Earth toward a sustained presence off the planet”.

Major Peake seemed content to live on planet Earth though.

“If you lived on Mars, you would have to spend all your time in a pressurised habitat, protected from the Martian atmosphere and the Martian storms and the temperatures and the radiation,” he said.

“We will be able to [live on other planets] at some point in the future, but I still think Earth is going to be the planet that we want to live on.”

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