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Astronaut Peake 'enjoying show' after tricky landing

By Staff Reporter

Published 17/12/2015

Mission: Major Peake (second from right) in the space station
Mission: Major Peake (second from right) in the space station
Screen grabbed image taken from footage issued by the European Space Agency of the Soyuz space capsule carrying British astronaut Major Tim Peake, docked at the the International Space Station

Britain's star astronaut, Tim Peake, has celebrated a safe arrival on board the International Space Station despite a rocky landing.

On approach, the automatic docking system failed, requiring quick thinking from his Russian co-pilot.

Tweeting from aboard the satellite after successfully boarding, Major Peake said: "Hi from #ISS! What an incredible ride to space yesterday - Soyuz felt so smooth & powerful.

"Yuri did outstanding job getting us safely docked."

Commander Yuri Malenchenko had overridden the automated docking system after the craft plotted a bad approach.

Earlier, Major Peake (43) enjoyed a perfect rocket launch watched by his family. A Russian Soyuz FG rocket blasted the astronauts into a clear sky over the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 11.03am GMT on Tuesday, precisely on time.

In a live link to family and friends viewing the drama on a cinema screen in a Baikonur theatre, he said: "It was a beautiful launch, that sunrise was absolutely spectacular.

"We also got the benefit of a moon rise which was beautiful to see. To Europe and the UK, I hope you enjoyed the show."

His wife Rebecca told him: "There were quite a few parties down on the ground, so your launch was well celebrated by everybody down here. Have a great mission. We love you."

During his six-month mission, called Principia - in homage to Sir Isaac Newton's ground-breaking text on gravity and motion - he will take part in some 265 experiments and engage with schools throughout the UK.

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