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Video: British astronaut Tim Peake blasting off into space inspires schoolchildren at Belfast's W5

Astronaut Jean Francois Clervoy joins over 500 school children at W5 to watch the live launch of the first British ESA astronaut to join the crew on the International Space Station (ISS).

Major Tim Peake lifted off in the space capsule from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 11.03am UK time.

According to astronaut Jean Francois Clervoy 'the launch went according to plan'.

Jean Francois was one on the panel to choose Tim Peake to join the ISS, he said: "I was fortunate to be a member of the jury who selected him. He is very good and he is the highest rating in all the training he does.

“He is a symbol for his family and his friends but also for all the kids in Europe, the UK and Belfast, to show that science is important.

“I know today he will have the experience of a life-time."

Upon arrival, Major Peake and his crew will spend six months performing a variety of experiments and tests for researchers.

Among them will be a UK-designed test to check for problems suffered by astronauts - including visual complications and sickness - caused by increased brain pressure.

In total, he is expected to take part in 265 experiments.

For more information and for updates please visit: http://www.w5online.co.uk/

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