The Great British Space Race is an app & website that uses British astronaut Tim Peake's inaugural mission to the ISS to encourage people on Earth to keep fit. Keeping track of the exercise they do, participants can pit themselves against friends to earn mission badges and astronaut wings as they race towards orbit. Groups can challenge each other, and in conjunction with gyms, teams across the world can race around the solar system by earning "rocket fuel" for their physical exercise.

This project is solving the Fit as a MOoSE: Metabolic Observations of Space Explorers challenge.


The Problem

According to the World Health Organisation, global obesity has has more than doubled since 1980. Obesity, which is preventable, is a major risk factor for many chronic diseases and has has been exacerbated by increased intake of foods high in fat and sedentary lifestyles as urbanization increases. The scary statistics are not new to many, but many still find it a challenge to make exercise part of their lifestyle.


ESA Astronaut Tim Peake will spend six months in space, orbiting the Earth on the International Space Station as part of ISS Expedition 46. For all the fun of being in microgravity, Tim will have to get to grips with a vigorous exercise regime, spending at least two hours a day exercising, to ensure that his bones and muscles don’t deteriorate. This is quite an incentive to stay active and the Great British Space Race aims to link health in space with health on earth.

The Great British Space Race is a national pilot of an international concept that gives an opportunity for you to earn your astronaut wings without leaving the planet. For each session of exercise you do, you will earn points – or “rocket fuel” – that will help you, your team or gym along your journey. To earn your astronaut wings you must earn enough rocket fuel points to get you past the "Kármán line" (100Km/64miles) above Earth. This is the standard that NASA uses to award gold astronaut wings, can you make it? You can then attempt to reach low Earth orbit, where the space station is. This will take a bit of work, but don’t worry - mission control will help you along the way, with exciting new missions where you can earn mission patches to keep you motivated.

Team Up and Explore

While there are excellent programmes like Mission X: Train Like an Astronaut for schoolchildren, there are millions of adults who also need to get moving. As well as individual missions, with the Great British Space Race we would like to encourage parents to exercise with their children. You can also train alongside your friends and colleagues by setting up a group to pool your achievements in order to reach far into the galaxy. Join or your register with your gym, and pit yourself against other participating gyms around the UK. Keep each other motivated and follow your progress!

So what are you waiting for? Sign-up and get ready for launch!

Going International

Although this web-app is not limited to the UK, we are focusing on Tim Peake's mission to pilot the app since it is a great opportunity to engage a nation that is not traditionally associated with human spaceflight. All the assets and source code can be used to create an international space race, and other countries sending up astronauts can use the white-label nature of our project to create their own country's Great Space Race.

The vision

We wanted to create something that was simple for people to use in their everyday life to ensure continued engagement with the Space Race, which is why we hope to get large gym chains onboard with the idea and allow people's usual workouts to count towards something. If successful, we can create offline assets for gyms to display in order to encourage members to track their progress and find out a bit about spaceflight at the same time. We feel we are much more likely to succeed by creating something that is fun that slips in some educational material, than by approaching the problem the other way round.

The Future

  1. International Space Races
  2. White label ready for other countries to personalise or join a country/region near you
  3. "Motivate me" button with ideas for exercises, starting with a rocket-style countdown
  4. Audio tracks using real and dramatic effects to accompany people during their workouts - choose from supportive astronaut trainer, firm but fair mission controller, astronaut needing extra power for a vital spacecraft manoeuvre etc
  5. Development of weekly/monthly challenges referencing live or real missions
  6. Motivational boosts - extra exercise needed to reboost ISS, or different activity to represent a spacewalk etc
  7. Linking in with the APIs of a range of fitness trackers, such as fitbit, RunKeeper etc (coming soon...)
  8. A system for Open Badges
  9. Completion of Website and Mobile app to stay active wherever you are

Work Done

  • Created a solution to engage people to get active and space education
  • Identified an event of interest to the national to ease take up
  • Logo, mission patches & other concept designs
  • Partial Front end site development on Google App Engine
  • Backend database via IBM Bluemix
  • Recovery of RunKeeper data and injection into backend database

The Team

Astro @marsokod - Aerospace Engineer : interfaces

Astro David Kosdruy - Computational Design Architect : graphics

Astro @jeanjimbo Google Cloud Platform Developer : front-end

Astro @SpaceKate - Multimedia journalist

Astro @Steve_Upton - Software Engineer : back-end

Astro @trottykins - Information Experience Designer:Graphic Designer

Follow us on @GBspacerace

Project Information

License: MIT license (MIT)

Source Code/Project URL:


Live Website -
YouTube video presentation -


  • David Kosdruy
  • Natasha Trotman
  • Jean Jimbo
  • Steve Upton
  • Enguerran Petitfils
  • Kate Arkless Gray