Astronaut Tim Peake meets youngsters inspired by his space mission


Astronaut Tim Peake has been meeting youngsters who have been inspired by his six-month mission to the International Space Station.

The 44-year-old attended the UK Space Agency Schools Conference, hosted by the University of Portsmouth, which gave schoolchildren a chance to present their work to Major Peake as well as other experts from the European Space Agency.

Maj Peake, who is also being presented with an honorary degree by the Hampshire university, said: "Encouraging students to engage with my Principia mission was always something that I had hoped to do - and I am thrilled at the range of different things young people have done to follow my mission."

The conference, which will be followed by a second event at the University of York, is part of a £3 million education initiative following Maj Peake's mission - the largest such project undertaken for an ESA astronaut which has involved a million young people.

University of Portsmouth vice-chancellor Professor Graham Galbraith said: "It's a great honour for us to welcome one of our most celebrated alumni back to the university for this prestigious event.

"Tim's six-month mission on board the International Space Station was an inspiration to schoolchildren everywhere."

Maj Peake studied flight dynamics and evaluation at the University of Portsmouth and graduated in 2006.