Tim Peake to have freedom of Chichester when he returns to Earth

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Astronaut Tim Peake is to be given the freedom of his home city.

Members of Chichester City Council in West Sussex voted to give the highest honour it can bestow to Peake at a special meeting.

The authority aims to get a message to the astronaut through the European Space Agency to invite him to accept the accolade when he returns to Earth.

The 43-year-old, the first British astronaut to carry out a spacewalk, is two months into a six-month mission on board the International Space Station, carrying out experiments and research.

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Chichester mayor Peter Budge said: “We hope that Maj Peake will accept this honour but I am sure his diary will be very full when he returns to planet Earth, so we will not know for a while when we can present him with the freedom scroll and sign the roll of freedom holders.”

Peake was born in Chichester and attended the city’s High School for Boys, which has named its science centre after him. He was also a member of the local air training corps, and his parents live near the city in the village of Westbourne.

What does it mean?

The freedom of Chichester is an honour adopted in 1901, but has its early origins in the 12th and 13th centuries.

Town clerk Rodney Duggua said: “It is the highest honour the city council can bestow, and the local government equivalent of an investiture.”

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