Astro Academy: Principia

In 1687 Sir Isaac Newton transformed our understanding of the laws of nature through publication of the Principia and now the National Space Academy, UK Space Agency, and European Space Agency bring you Astro Academy: Principia – a unique science education programme including:

• Orbital experiments conducted by astronaut Tim Peake aboard the International Space Station,

• Dynamic analyses of the results

• Ground-based analogue experiment guides for students and teachers

• A suite of further space science and education guides

Astro Academy: Principia is a tribute to the enduring power of Newton’s genius and insight – the applications of which are, more than three centuries later, still enabling us to better understand the world around us.

Resource categories

Circular motion

Demonstrations of circular motion in various planes and the simple harmonic nature of displacement reduced to a single plane


Tim’s on-orbit demonstrations of elastic and inelastic collisions between objects of different masses filmed from multiple angles

Kinetic theory

On-orbit demonstrations of two masses oscillating attached to a spring, and a clear box containing plastic beads to represent particles


Understanding the phenomenon of gravity, how it governs orbital motion, and how the microgravity environment of the ISS can be used to explore fundamental science.


Find out about the kind of work that UK scientists and engineers are doing in the space sector, both in support of astronauts like Tim and in applications for life on Earth.

How are you using Astro Academy: Principia?


Watch all of the videos

Visit our YouTube channel.