ASTRONAUT Time Peake had a love of aircraft from an early age according to his father, Nigel Peake.
Nigel and his wife, Angela, still live in Westbourne and spoke to the Observer about their son’s achievement.
“We are delighted for him because he has worked so hard for this,” said Nigel.
“They all have, the six of them in their practice group.
“We are delighted that it has happened for him and, of course, it is great for Britain.”
From an early age, Tim had an interest in aircraft and the military, joining the cadets as soon as he became a pupil at Chichester High School for Boys and flying light aircraft during his time at the school.
“I’m not quite sure where that came from,” said Nigel.
“I am interested in aircraft but not to the extent Tim was.
“From a very young age he was interested, particularly in helicopters. He always wanted to be a helicopter pilot.”
Always an active child and with a successful Army career behind him, Nigel said Tim had enjoyed almost every aspect of his training – apart from learning Russian.
“They could throw him out of a plane, into caves, under water and he was happy but not with a Russian textbook in his hand,” he said.
According to Nigel, the two aspects of his trip which Tim is most looking forward to are the opportunity to continue his scientific research and the possibility of carrying out a space walk – something he trained for at NASA, in Houston.
Tim left Chichester High School for Boys in 1990 but has since returned to the school, including for the opening of a sports and conference centre named in his honour.
Head teacher Gavin Salvesen-Sawh said: “Please forgive the pun, but we are over the moon for Tim Peake.
“As Tim is a former Old Boy of the school, we are very excited by the news. He has promised us he will make a special return visit after his space mission.
“One of my science teachers, Mike Gouldstone, taught Tim in the 1990s and it has been a proud day for him, our students and our school as a whole.
“Tim has provided an immense amount of inspiration for all our students.”