A British astronaut has been turned into a comic book superhero to encourage kids to take an interest in science.
Tim Peake, who became the first British astronaut to walk in space, has been renamed Orbital in the new comic called STEM Squad, which highlights the work of leading figures working in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
He said: “I am very happy to have been invited to join the STEM Squad; I’ve always loved superheroes, but I never imagined I could ever become one, let alone Orbital, helping defeat the elemental monsters of climate change.
Mr. Peake gained significant public notoriety when he flew to the International Space Station in 2015.
The 49-year-old from Chichester is featured in the comic, designed by the Institution of Engineering and Technology, alongside coding entrepreneur June Angelides, engineer Shrouk El-Attar and bionics educator James Young, who is a double amputee.
“My fascination with science and engineering started when I was in school, and I feel passionate about getting more young people to share my love for STEM,” said Mr. Peake. .
Comic book artists Andy Lanning and Ant Williams, who worked on comics starring Captain America and The Hulk, were recruited to bring the project to life.
Mr Peake said: “Future generations will face all manner of heroic challenges, from climate change to the establishment of human colonies on Mars.
“There really is a whole world of possibilities to explore and STEM will be with them every step of the way. “
The project comes after research from the IET suggested that most comic book characters like Peter Parker, Tony Stark, and Bruce Banner didn’t realize they were scientists or engineers.
The IET has also launched a competition that challenges kids to design their own superhero gadget.
The winner will see a prototype of their gadget created and added to the comic book.
A children’s novel by Mr. Peake, titled Swarm Rising, is released on September 30.