This book takes the reader on Tim Peake's journey as a British Army officer from Chichester who spent 185 days living and working on the ISS, including more than four hours and 43 minutes of space walks.
Tim Peake's experiences are used to illustrate larger points and themes, such as the stress of an extremely highly visible job, the challenges of extended family separation, and the ever-present risk of having to make the ultimate sacrifice — all this against a back-drop of a UK press desperate for any news of British involvement in human spaceflight. The last such mission was over 25 years ago.
Also discussed are the learning curves required in astronaut and mission training and the complexity of the technologies required to launch an astronaut into space and keep him or her alive for months on end. Such complex technical systems, like the ISS, also have to mesh with the variables of human personality and the cultural background of the astronauts/cosmonauts.
Tim Peake's flight represented an opportunity that had existed for decades but had run into many obstacles thrown up by politicians and bureaucrats.
Seedhouse narrates the story of Tim Peake and the Principia mission with specific descriptions of life aboard the ISS, by way of the hurdles placed by the British government and through to the rigors of training at Russia's Star City military base.