How to survive in space – The next frontier (2015)

Kevin Fong

In the third and final of the 2015 CHRISTMAS LECTURES, space doctor Kevin Fong explores the 'the next frontier' of human space travel.

A still from Kevin Fong's 2015 CHRISTMAS LECTURE
Credit: Royal Institution

Lecture 3 – The next frontier

In the third and final of the 2015 CHRISTMAS LECTURES, space doctor Kevin Fong explores the 'The next frontier' of human space travel. 

In a series finale, Kevin investigates how the next generation of astronauts will be propelled across the vast chasm of space to Mars and beyond, with explosive demonstrations, expert guests, and a live spacewalk from the ISS.

So, how will life be artificially sustained as we travel the millions of kilometres to the Red Planet and on into the cosmos? How will our food last for 3 years or more? And what is waiting what for us when we finally land? With earth shattering experiments, top space scientists and a spacewalk live from the ISS, Dr Kevin Fong reveals how we'll survive that voyage to space's next frontier’ and beyond.


In December 2015, Tim Peake became the first Briton in space for more than 20 years and a new member of the European Astronaut Corps. As Tim adjusts to life onboard the International Space Station (ISS), Kevin Fong's CHRISTMAS LECTURES take us on a journey from planet Earth into Low Earth Orbit and beyond.

This is the story of human survival against all the odds; the story of how science, medicine and engineering come together to help answer our biggest questions about Life, the Earth, the Universe and our place in it.

From artificial gravity and greenhouses in space to plasma drives and zero-G surgical suits, these lectures reveal how what once was the stuff of science fiction is fast becoming today’s science fact.

Throughout the three-part series, Kevin is be accompanied by special guest appearances from ISS astronauts who will reveal what daily life is like 400 kilometres above the Earth. We will explore the technology and techniques that help them stay safe and healthy, and discover scientific experiments taking place on the ISS which are helping to stretch the limits of our understanding of human physiology and survival in a way that no experiment back on Earth could.