Tomorrow Tim Kopra and I are going on our EVA (extra-vehicular activity). We have been preparing for this specific spacewalk for weeks in space, and months before that on Earth. However, to undertake an EVA actually takes several years of training. We have spent many hours working in our spacesuits, 'floating' in the largest swimming pool on Earth with a Space Station mockup. We have used virtual reality headsets to re-enact our operations and trained for the worst case scenario of becoming detached from the Space Station but I guess nothing can fully prepare for the feeling of being outside of a spacecraft in the vacuum of space.
When you get excited about Tim Peake over the next six months, remember who came before him and what she represents. Helen Sharman was the first Briton in space, and one of the youngest out of the 545 people who have got up there. She underwent 18 months of gruelling training for just sevendays in space and conducted a number of important experiments in that time.