In a recent podcast interview with Award-winning LBC presenter and best-selling author James O’Brien, British astronaut Tim Peake playfully hinted at a potential return to space, expressing admiration for the strides made by Axiom Space and other pioneers in the burgeoning commercial space industry.
In the interview, Peake lauded the dynamic evolution of the sector, notably acknowledging Axiom Space’s manned missions to the International Space Station (ISS). This comes after his decision to relinquish his position in the European Space Agency’s (ESA) active astronaut roster at the start of this year, following an extended leave that commenced on October 1, 2019.
“If you’d asked me that a year ago, I’d have said there perhaps weren’t a huge amount of opportunities,” said Peake, replying to O’Brien’s question as to whether he might go back to space. “Actually, right now, I think there’s more opportunity than I’ve even realized. There’s a lot happening in the commercial space sector. It’s really a ‘never say never’ — there are plenty of opportunities.”
Peake’s riveting journey in space, dubbed the “Principia” mission, began in 2015, featuring a remarkable spacewalk to upgrade the ISS’s power supply. Returning to Earth, he assumed various influential roles within ESA, such as the Head of Astronaut Operations, prior to his sabbatical.
Peake’s story is a story of determination, skill and adventure. No one would be surprised if, by chance, he gets another chance to travel into space, in part due to the exciting opportunities the space industry’s private sector seems to be providing.
Featured image: Tim Peake. Credit: Sam Barker/Contour by Getty Images