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Astronaut Tim Peake Set For History-Making Spacewalk

05/01/2016 17:05 GMT | Updated 05/01/2016 17:59 GMT

Astronaut Tim Peake is set to make history next week by becoming the first Briton to complete a spacewalk.

He will accompany NASA astronaut Tim Kopra outside the International Space Station (ISS) to repair a power unit, the European Space Agency confirmed in a statement.

tim peake

Lasting for around six hours, their main mission will be to replace a faulty Solar Shunt Unit, responsible for transferring power generated by the solar panels.

Scott Kelly will assist both Tims into and out of their suits, which the ESA says is a "major operation in itself."

Peake tweeted about his assignment, set to take place on 15 January, saying:

Last time the ISS astronauts went on a space walk, Peake stayed inside to assist.

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This time however, he will carry out full preparations for venturing outside, including breathing pure oxygen for two hours to purge his body of nitrogen.

According to NASA, this prevents gas bubbles from forming in his body, while in space.

"Right now we are focusing on preparing the tools, equipment and procedures," Peake said.

“Maintaining the International Space Station from the outside requires intense operations - not just from the crew, but also from our ground support teams who are striving to make this spacewalk as safe and efficient as possible.”