First British astronaut sent into space

Today, at around 11 am UK time, Major Tim Peake blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station where he will stay for the next six months conducting experiments to test out technology for future space missions.

The moment was broadcast live on television.

The former helicopter pilot, 43, has spent six years training to become the first professional British astronaut to be employed by the European Space Agency.


In total, Major Peake will take part in 265 experiments. One of these will be his presence on the ISS, as scientists will be looking at the effects of micro-gravity on the human body, an experiment that will continue even after he returns to earth in six months time.

The rocket is expected to arrive at the ISS around 5.23pm, UK time but they wont be able to open the hatch until about 7.25pm while they do final checks.