Astronaut Tim Peake signs non-fiction debut

Astronaut Tim Peake signs non-fiction debut

Penguin Random House is publishing British astronaut Tim Peake's non-fiction debut, Hello, is this planet Earth? in November.

Peake will be writing about his historic six-month Principia mission, based on over 150 photographs he took while on board the International Space Station. It publishes on 17th November in hardback and e-book.

The project follows his picture book collaboration, Goodnight Spaceman, by Michelle Robinson and Nick East, which Penguin Random House Children’s published in April.

Hello, is this planet Earth? is by contrast intended for "readers of all ages". Described as "the perfect visual time capsule", it comes with a personal commentary from Peake, "full of his characteristic warmth and charm", with photos ranging from "breathtaking" aerial shots of cities illuminated at night, the northern lights and vistas of oceans, to mountains and deserts. The title of the book is inspired by Peake's famous "wrong number" dialed from space, when he accidentally misdialed a woman from the Space Station and inquired, "Hello, is this planet Earth?"

That particular incident from his 186-day mission has already gone on to inspire Orion to commission forthcoming novel Calling Major Tom by David M Barnett, scheduled for May next year.

Peake conducted numerous science experiments and engaged the British public in a variety of ways during his recent space mission. He became the first British astronaut to complete a spacewalk and the first person to run the London marathon in space. He spoke to school children back on Earth, via events such as the Cosmic Classroom live from the ISS, and was involved in other events, such as presenting the BRIT Awards live from space in a dinner jacket. 

In the Queen’s Birthday Honours, Peake was made a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George for his "distinguished service".

He will be supporting publication with selected interviews and appearances as part of a major multi-platform consumer campaign from PRH, and is donating all his proceeds from the publication to The Prince’s Trust for which he is an ambassador.

Ben Brusey, editorial director of Century, acquired world rights from Tim Peake and ESA, as organised through Rosita Suenson, Human Spaceflight Communication Programme Officer at ESA.

Peake completed his mission working on the International Space Station for Expedition 46/47 in June. He said: "It's impossible to look down on Earth from space and not be mesmerised by the fragile beauty of our planet. During my mission I became determined to share this unique perspective of the one place we all call ‘home’. This book captures a journey of discovery, not just the discovery of planet Earth - a stunning oasis of life in the vastness of space - but also the discovery of a newfound passion for photography, which has had a major impact on me. I hope readers enjoy leafing through these pages as much as I enjoyed taking these pictures."

Brusey said: "We are thrilled and honoured to be working with Tim and ESA, and know that the public, both in Britain and around the world, will be inspired and delighted by this book, just as they were by Tim’s mission. Every page is chock-full of awe and wonder, and a uniquely British feel-good factor. It will surely be one of the very biggest books of the year."

Suenson added: "Every time we get new images from our guys on the ISS, it’s like receiving a gift. Each photo is the best we've seen, until the next one arrives. Even if you are not onboard the space station, we all get closer to them with every image they share! Making a book with some of these beautiful images invites more people to enter the ultimate ‘room with a view’."

Peake was an Army Air Corps Officer before becoming an astronaut and has accrued over 3000 flying hours, having flown more than 30 different types of helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft. He is an ambassador for UK science and space-based careers and is working with the UK Space Agency in developing the UK’s microgravity research programme. He is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and a member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots.