January 26, 2017 / 12:39 PM / in 6 months

British astronaut Peake to make second space flight

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British astronaut Tim Peake poses with the Soyuz TMA-19M descent module, the spacecraft which carried him and his crew to and from the International Space Station, at a media event at the Science Museum in London, Britain, January 26, 2017.Toby Melville

LONDON (Reuters) - British astronaut Tim Peake is to return to the International Space Station to carry out more research, the government said on Thursday.

The announcement was made at London's Science Museum, where the capsule which carried Peake on his previous 186-day 'Principia' mission to the space station was unveiled for display.

"Tim Peake's Principia mission inspired a generation, and showed just how far science can take you," said business secretary Greg Clark.

No timing was announced for the next trip.

A former army officer, Peake, 44, is the first British astronaut at the European Space Agency, and the seventh UK-born person in space.

"It is only natural to want to return," he told Sky News. "The one thing you miss is the view of planet Earth, of course. It is the most spectacular thing you can possibly see."

While aboard the International Space Station last year, Peake famously made a surprise appearance via video link at the Brit Awards to present an award to singer Adele.

The UK has committed to contribute around 1.4 billion euros ($1.5 billion) to the European Space Agency over the next four years.

Reporting by Ritvik Carvalho; editing by Stephen Addison

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