Barney at Tim Peake's Mission Control Blue Peter Bite


Barney at Tim Peake's Mission Control

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This is Blue Peter, but mini.

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Expect epic adventures,

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makes, bakes,

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badges, pets,

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presenters and your post.

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We've only got five minutes, so get ready for your Blue Peter adventure.

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Major Tim Peake blasts off, complete with his mission patch

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designed by Blue Peter viewer Troy,

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to take his place on the International Space Station,

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where he'll be living and working for a total of six months.

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Right now, Tim Peake is orbiting the Earth 250 miles

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that way, and the people that look after him...

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Oh, well, they're, er, they're just in there.

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Oh, did I not say I'm in Germany?

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Yeah, and that that is the control centre for Tim Peake's mission?

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Yeah, I probably should've said that, shouldn't I?

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And because it's Blue Peter, we've got unique access

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to go inside and have a look round and see how it all works,

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and that you're invited as well? Did I not say that?

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I probably should've done. It's good, isn't it?

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Since he lifted off, Britain has been gripped by Tim's mission

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and I am, too.

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So, to be given the chance to see

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behind-the-scenes of mission control is a real privilege.

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Now, you may recognise this place from all the space movies

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that you've seen, but this isn't a movie set.

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This is the real thing.

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This is the control centre for the Columbus module that

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Tim Peake is inside right now in space.

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The International Space Station

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speeds around the Earth at over 17,000mph,

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so it takes a team of flight directors down on the ground

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to make sure that everything runs smoothly in his module.

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And the first person I'm going to meet is one of them.

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Can you tell us what a Flight Director does? Yeah.

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Yeah. I mean, that's a pretty interesting and cool thing

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that we are doing here.

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We are in control of this module, so we are responsible to maintain

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everything which is going on in this module,

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and we are also telling Tim what kind of experiments he has to do.

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Well, that is our job.

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This is the position controlling actually the module.

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So, sending commands, opening valves,

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controlling the temperature that the astronauts are feeling.

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Erm, that atmosphere, the oxygen that they are breathing is OK.

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On 15th January this year,

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Tim Peake became the first British European Space Agency astronaut to

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perform what the guys here call an EVA, or a spacewalk to you and me.

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When they do a spacewalk, that then goes somewhere else doesn't it?

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Yeah. I mean, this is being controlled from Houston,

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which is in America,

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and that is the main control centre for the space station.

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Tim and his crewmate had to stop their spacewalk early

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because one of their helmets was leaking.

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So, things do go wrong, and it's the Mission Director

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who is responsible for making sure Tim is OK.

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For the Columbus module, that's Berti.

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-So, you're in charge.

-Yes, I am.

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Are you happy with what he's been doing in space?

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Ah, he's fantastic.

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He's a fantastic team worker.

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He's always in a good mood.

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With all the many tasks he has to do, each minute

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is planned out on his day.

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How do you communicate with Tim?

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-Cos it's not like you can just pick up the phone.

-But he can.

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Er, when there is a certain coverage with the satellites,

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he can pick up the phone and call me on my mobile

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and he calls me in my office.

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-That's really cool, isn't it?

-Yeah.

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-To get a call from space.

-Yes.

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Every Thursday around midday, the control centre here in Munich

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gets in touch with the International Space Station

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to transfer information and just make sure everyone's OK...

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Wait a minute - today's Thursday.

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It's around midday.

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I can't quite believe I'm saying this, but the team here have

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allowed me to sit in on one of their crew conferences.

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'Yes, this is Houston com-tech.

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'Are you ready for the ISSA crew conference?'

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And we are ready.

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'I don't know why, but as we wait for the call to come through,

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'I'm really nervous.

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'And then, all of a sudden,

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'I get the once-in-a-lifetime chance to talk to space.'

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'Munich station on space-to-ground four-four.'

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Tim, it's Barney. It's so good to see you. How are you?

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Hello, Barney, and hi to Blue Peter.

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How is it up there?

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Barney, life on board is wonderful.

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Er, we've already had two EVAs,

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one of which I was able to go outside the space station on.

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We're being kept very busy, and, of course,

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when we do get the odd five minutes' break,

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just going to the windows and looking down on planet Earth

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is absolutely spectacular.

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Obviously, you're wearing the Blue Peter badge.

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We would love to see what would happen to that badge

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if it was to be in an anti-gravity environment?

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Can you float that for us?

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I've got another badge here for you, actually, another Blue Peter badge.

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So, I'm going to put that up by the camera

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and show you what happens, and, er, it's just going to float around.

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Now, the thing with small objects like this,

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that don't have much mass,

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is they float around really easily.

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You know, you let go of them for two minutes and look away

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and they're gone. Now, they'll go all over the place.

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Listen, it's been so good to speak to you and, yeah,

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we'll see you when you land. Thanks a lot.

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Fantastic, Barney. Great speaking to you, too,

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and, er, I look forward to see you when I get back.

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Bye now.

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Join in every Thursday on CBBC.

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Barney visits the European Space Agency Mission Control to link up with Tim Peake on the International Space Station.


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