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This is Blue Peter, but mini.
Expect epic adventures,
presenters and your post.
We've only got five minutes, so get ready for your Blue Peter adventure.
Major Tim Peake blasts off, complete with his mission patch
designed by Blue Peter viewer Troy,
to take his place on the International Space Station,
where he'll be living and working for a total of six months.
Right now, Tim Peake is orbiting the Earth 250 miles
that way, and the people that look after him...
Oh, well, they're, er, they're just in there.
Oh, did I not say I'm in Germany?
Yeah, and that that is the control centre for Tim Peake's mission?
Yeah, I probably should've said that, shouldn't I?
And because it's Blue Peter, we've got unique access
to go inside and have a look round and see how it all works,
and that you're invited as well? Did I not say that?
I probably should've done. It's good, isn't it?
Since he lifted off, Britain has been gripped by Tim's mission
and I am, too.
So, to be given the chance to see
behind-the-scenes of mission control is a real privilege.
Now, you may recognise this place from all the space movies
that you've seen, but this isn't a movie set.
This is the real thing.
This is the control centre for the Columbus module that
Tim Peake is inside right now in space.
The International Space Station
speeds around the Earth at over 17,000mph,
so it takes a team of flight directors down on the ground
to make sure that everything runs smoothly in his module.
And the first person I'm going to meet is one of them.
Can you tell us what a Flight Director does? Yeah.
Yeah. I mean, that's a pretty interesting and cool thing
that we are doing here.
We are in control of this module, so we are responsible to maintain
everything which is going on in this module,
and we are also telling Tim what kind of experiments he has to do.
Well, that is our job.
This is the position controlling actually the module.
So, sending commands, opening valves,
controlling the temperature that the astronauts are feeling.
Erm, that atmosphere, the oxygen that they are breathing is OK.
On 15th January this year,
Tim Peake became the first British European Space Agency astronaut to
perform what the guys here call an EVA, or a spacewalk to you and me.
When they do a spacewalk, that then goes somewhere else doesn't it?
Yeah. I mean, this is being controlled from Houston,
which is in America,
and that is the main control centre for the space station.
Tim and his crewmate had to stop their spacewalk early
because one of their helmets was leaking.
So, things do go wrong, and it's the Mission Director
who is responsible for making sure Tim is OK.
For the Columbus module, that's Berti.
-So, you're in charge.
-Yes, I am.
Are you happy with what he's been doing in space?
Ah, he's fantastic.
He's a fantastic team worker.
He's always in a good mood.
With all the many tasks he has to do, each minute
is planned out on his day.
How do you communicate with Tim?
-Cos it's not like you can just pick up the phone.
-But he can.
Er, when there is a certain coverage with the satellites,
he can pick up the phone and call me on my mobile
and he calls me in my office.
-That's really cool, isn't it?
-To get a call from space.
Every Thursday around midday, the control centre here in Munich
gets in touch with the International Space Station
to transfer information and just make sure everyone's OK...
Wait a minute - today's Thursday.
It's around midday.
I can't quite believe I'm saying this, but the team here have
allowed me to sit in on one of their crew conferences.
'Yes, this is Houston com-tech.
'Are you ready for the ISSA crew conference?'
And we are ready.
'I don't know why, but as we wait for the call to come through,
'I'm really nervous.
'And then, all of a sudden,
'I get the once-in-a-lifetime chance to talk to space.'
'Munich station on space-to-ground four-four.'
Tim, it's Barney. It's so good to see you. How are you?
Hello, Barney, and hi to Blue Peter.
How is it up there?
Barney, life on board is wonderful.
Er, we've already had two EVAs,
one of which I was able to go outside the space station on.
We're being kept very busy, and, of course,
when we do get the odd five minutes' break,
just going to the windows and looking down on planet Earth
is absolutely spectacular.
Obviously, you're wearing the Blue Peter badge.
We would love to see what would happen to that badge
if it was to be in an anti-gravity environment?
Can you float that for us?
I've got another badge here for you, actually, another Blue Peter badge.
So, I'm going to put that up by the camera
and show you what happens, and, er, it's just going to float around.
Now, the thing with small objects like this,
that don't have much mass,
is they float around really easily.
You know, you let go of them for two minutes and look away
and they're gone. Now, they'll go all over the place.
Listen, it's been so good to speak to you and, yeah,
we'll see you when you land. Thanks a lot.
Fantastic, Barney. Great speaking to you, too,
and, er, I look forward to see you when I get back.
Join in every Thursday on CBBC.
Barney visits the European Space Agency Mission Control to link up with Tim Peake on the International Space Station.