Astronaut Tim Peake just ran the London Marathon – in space

astronaut marathon runner space
British astronaut Tim Peake refused to let the small matter of being 200 miles above Earth prevent him from taking part in the London Marathon on Sunday.

Following through on a promise he made back in December shortly before arriving on the International Space Station, Peake donned his running gear and hopped aboard a treadmill to run the race virtually, and even provided the countdown to the start of the event for the 40,000 or so runners back on the ground in the UK capital.

Thanks to the first-person view of the route offered by the RunSocial mixed-reality app, as well as live video and audio feeds of the 26.2-mile (42.2 km) race, the space-based marathon runner was able to feel like he was really there – so long as he could ignore the complex harness system that was keeping him tethered to the treadmill.

That’s right, the small matter of gravity (or lack of it) meant Peake needed a way of making sure he could actually put one foot in front of the other to complete the course.

“One of the biggest challenges is the harness system,” he told the BBC before the race. “Obviously, my bodyweight has to be firmly attached to the treadmill by this harness, and that can rub on the shoulders and around the waist.” Indeed, chafing can be a serious challenge for any long-distance runner, but it sounds like Peake needed an extra tube or two of space-friendly lubricant to see him safely to the finishing line.

The British astronaut, who arrived on the ISS on December 15 for a six-month stay, completed the London Marathon in 3:35:21, a little slower than when he ran the same course in 1999 – on terra firma – clocking 3:18:50.

The RunSocial app helped Peake feel a part of the events on the ground, offering him a high-definition POV recording of the actual course. A particularly cool feature meant the visuals matched the speed at which Peake ran, with VR avatars of others using the app appearing around him as he proceeded along the course.

The astronaut even managed to break the world record for a marathon run in space. What? You mean someone else has already run a marathon in space? Yes, indeed. In 2007, Sunita Williams ran the Boston Marathon aboard the ISS, finishing in just under four and a half hours.


Formula 1 is putting data in the driver’s seat, and not all racers are happy

After a single weekend of racing, a Formula 1 pit crew typically pulls around 2TB of data from the car. Everything, from tire pressure to the temperature of the track, is recorded and analyzed in the name of boosting performance -- and not…

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.

The best of the last generation: Our 50 favorite Xbox 360 games

The Xbox 360 thrived during a generation where games were plentiful. Here's our list of the best Xbox 360 games of all time, including all game genres and even a few special indie hits.
Home Theater

The best Dolby Atmos movies for your home theater sound as good as they look

If you've got your hands on some sweet Dolby Atmos gear, the next step is to find films that take advantage of it. These are our picks in several genres for the best Dolby Atmos movies currently available on Blu-ray and streaming services.
Emerging Tech

Trip to Neptune’s moon, Triton, could inform search for extraterrestrial life

NASA has proposed sending a craft to Neptune to study its largest moon, Triton. Studying Triton could offer clues to how liquid water is maintained on planets, which may indicate what to look for when searching for life beyond our planet.
Emerging Tech

NASA’s Mars 2020 rover passes its tests with flying colors

The Mars 2020 rover team has been undertaking a series of tests to see if the craft will be able to launch, navigate, and land on the Red Planet. Called Systems Test 1, or ST1, these tests represent the first test drive of the new rover.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robotic companions and computer-aided karaoke

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!

Light up the night! Here are the five best headlamps money can buy

Headlamps make all the difference when camping or walking the dog at night, especially when you're in need of both hands. From Petzl to Tikkid, here are some of the best headlamps on the market.
Emerging Tech

A hive of activity: Using honeybees to measure urban pollution

According to a new study from Vancouver, bees could help us understand urban pollution. Scientists have found an innovative way to measure the level of source of pollution in urban environments: by analyzing honey.
Emerging Tech

Spacewalk a success as astronauts upgrade batteries on the ISS

The International Space Station was treated to some new batteries on Friday, thanks to two NASA astronauts who took a spacewalk for nearly seven hours in order to complete the upgrades.
Emerging Tech

Asteroid Ryugu is porous, shaped like a spinning top, and is formed of rubble

The Japanese Space Agency has been exploring a distant asteroid named Ryugu with its probe, Hayabusa 2. Now the first results from study of the asteroid are in, with three new papers published.
Emerging Tech

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s a super-speedy pulsar

A super-speedy pulsar has been spotted dashing across the sky, discovered using NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope and the Very Large Array. The pulsar is traveling at a breathtaking 2.5 million miles an hour.
Emerging Tech

Chilean telescope uncovers one of the oldest star clusters in the galaxy

An ultra-high definition image captured by the Gemini South telescope in Chile has uncovered one of the oldest star clusters in the Milky Way. The cluster, called HP 1, could give clues to how our galaxy was formed billions of years ago.
Emerging Tech

Astronomers discover giant chimneys spewing energy from the center of the galaxy

Astronomers have discovered two exhaust channels which are funneling matter and energy away from the supermassive black hole at the heart of our galaxy and out towards the edges of the galaxy, dubbed galactic center chimneys.