LONDON, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- A British astronaut preparing to go into space next year says space travel and learning to work and live in space is vital to the survival of humanity.
Tim Peake, due to spend 6 months on the International Space Station beginning in late 2015, made the remarks recently while undergoing intensive mission training in Germany.
"Humanity's aim is to explore the solar system, not just for the sake of exploration," Peake told BBC News. "I genuinely believe it is for the sake of our own survival in the future.
"Whether it's an asteroid mission or a moon mission the ultimate aim is the future exploration of the solar system and get to Mars on a manned mission," he said.
Peake will travel to the ISS on a Soyuz rocket launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in November or December of next year to begin his six-month stay.
Peake said he believe that in the not-too-distant future astronauts would journey to another world.
"We are being trained for these kinds of missions on the new launch systems," he said. "It's easy to dismiss this stuff about 'Moon, Mars and Beyond' as NASA propaganda. But they are taking it seriously and I think it really will happen."