The University of Leicester is to confer the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science upon British astronaut Tim Peake.

Tim will be visiting the National Space Centre in Leicester on Friday 14 October as part of a wider tour of the UK where he will be awarded his honorary degree by University of Leicester President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Paul Boyle.

The ceremony will take place in the Sir Patrick Moore Planetarium.

During his visit Tim will also meet with local school children and members of the public, who have been inspired by his mission. Tim will be joined on stage by members of the National Space Academy team, to highlight the educational experiments carried out by him in space, that are now available to school children throughout the UK.

This will be the first time Tim has visited the Centre, but during his 186 days in space, he linked live to the Centre on two occasions, where he answered questions from school children and the media.

Tim returned to Earth in June 2016 after a historic six-month stay on the International Space Station (ISS).

Tim’s mission to the ISS, called ‘Principia’, used the unique environment of space to run experiments as well as try out new technologies for future human exploration missions. Tim was the first British ESA astronaut to visit the Space Station where he spent his time as part of the international crew.

Tim said: “I’ve been extremely touched by the support of the British public before, during and after my mission to the ISS and I hope that my post-flight tour will allow me to thank as many of those people as possible.”

Professor Paul Boyle, said: “We are delighted to award an honorary degree to Tim who has made an historic and remarkable contribution to UK space exploration and we hope that his accomplishments serve as inspiration to our own graduates.

“It is only fitting that his degree ceremony be held at the National Space Centre which the University of Leicester played an instrumental role in developing. Our researchers, who have a long and distinguished record of discovery in space science, continue to regularly contribute their expertise to the Centre, its governance, and the shape of the educational initiatives.”

Chas Bishop, Chief Executive at the National Space Centre, said: “We have seen a huge surge in interest in the UK Space Industry during Tim’s time in space. He is an inspiration to over a million school children who have followed his mission. He has made a significant difference and we know this will continue. Welcoming Tim to the National Space Centre is an honour and being one of just seven cities to be selected shows the importance of Leicester within the UK as a leader in space science and engineering.