Tim Peake reveals the puzzles and tests he had to pass to go to the International Space Station


Do you think you have the skill, aptitude and intelligence to be an astronaut?

This new series of tests revealed by Tim Peake, the seventh Briton in space, show the mind-bending puzzles he had to solve before being sent to the International Space Station (ISS)

The Chichester-born astronaut applied with thousands of others for the privilege of being sent into space.

But a mere six candidates were successful in 2009- the first European astronaut selection to take place in a decade.

It’s doesn’t have a traditional career path, but there are undoubtedly a number of exciting missions to Mars and beyond in the future, so now is time to see if you are made of the right stuff.

The following tests are all ones given to astronauts before missions to the ISS.


What is the reading on the voltmeter?

a) 2 volts

b) 4 volts

c) 4.5 volts

d) 6 volts 

a) 150m/s

b) 330m/s

c) 240m/s

d) 3,500m/s 

a) Increases with voltage

b) Decreases with voltage

c) Increases at a rate of 75 per cent of the voltage 

d) Does not change 

Match the following eight Dutch words for animals with their correct English equivalents. Some of these critters have even been to space- get extra bonus points if you know which ones.

Vlieg- monkey

Hert- deer

Haan- frog

Schildpad- rhinoceros

Kikker- turtle

Aap- spider 

Neushoorn- cockerel

Spin- fly 

Some astronauts now learn Chinese and Russian. Look at the Chinese words below and match them to the following English words: rocket, plane, window, astronaut, chair.






The training involves intensive Russian lessons as that is the other language (along with English) spoken on the International Space Station. Can you translate the following Russian space-related words into English?











A vital skill for any astronaut. Imagine you are facing a cube. The cube can roll in all directions and there is a dot on the bottom of the cube. Firstly, roll the cube forward, left, left, forward, right, backwards, right, where is the dot now? Secondly, imagine the cube with the dot again and roll it forward, right, right, forward, left, backwards, left, where is the dot now?

Work out the next object in the sequence. You’re only allowed ten seconds for each puzzle.

A line runs through the middle of a 3D shape such that it is equidistant from all surfaces. What is the shape?

a) a sphere

b) a cylinder

c) a cube

d) an octahedron

a) 26.7m

b) 59.9m

c) 29m

d) 128m 

a) 26 days

b) 30 days

c) 28 days

d) 27 days 

While following a procedure for a science experiment, you realise that you have performed a couple of steps in the wrong order. You assess it likely that the end result will not be affected by this and that no harm has been done.

Do you:

a) Continue with the procedure, but make a written note to Mission Control about the incorrect order of the steps?

b) Inform Mission Control of your mistake by voice, prior to continuing any further?

c) Continue with the procedure, you assess that it will have no impact?

d) Ask a crewmate for a second opinion? 

Extracted from The Astronaut Selection Test Book: Do You Have What it Takes for Space? To be published by Cornerstone on October 4 for £20 



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