Tim Peake be­gins stay on in­ter­na­tional space sta­tion

The Star (St. Lucia) - - INTERNATIONAL -

UK as­tro­naut Tim Peake boarded the In­ter­na­tional Space Sta­tion on Tues­day, which will be his home for the next six months.

Mr Peake and fel­low crew mem­bers, Rus­sian Yuri Ma­lenchenko and Amer­i­can Tim Ko­pra, floated through the hatch from their Soyuz space cap­sule to be greeted by the res­i­dent ISS as­tro­nauts.

The three new pas­sen­gers ar­rived at the space plat­form fol­low­ing a six-hour jour­ney af­ter launch from Kaza­khstan. Ear­lier, the Rus­sian com­man­der had to steer the craft to dock with the ISS. It fol­lowed com­pli­ca­tions with the usual au­to­matic dock­ing pro­ce­dure.

Mr Peake is making history as the first of­fi­cial UK as­tro­naut. Speak­ing from the ISS to of­fi­cials and fam­ily mem­bers, he said: “It was a beau­ti­ful launch. That first sun­rise was ab­so­lutely spec­tac­u­lar.”

It’s a rare event for the Soyuz crew to have to man­u­ally dock the space­craft at the space sta­tion. The Kurs radar sys­tem that failed is one of the two main ways con­trollers have of de­ter­min­ing where the Soyuz is rel­a­tive to the space sta­tion. The other is mea­sure­ments taken from the ground.

The launch was from the same place where Yuri Ga­garin be­came the first hu­man in space in 1961. There were no re­ported prob­lems dur­ing the blast-off.

Peake will spend six months on board the ISS where he will con­duct sci­en­tific ex­per­i­ments and carry out ed­u­ca­tional projects de­signed to at­tract young peo­ple into science.

The for­mer Army ma­jor is the first Bri­ton to join the crew of the ISS and is em­ployed by the Euro­pean Space Agency.

He­len Shar­man be­came the first Bri­tish cit­i­zen to travel to space when she vis­ited the Soviet space sta­tion Mir in 1991.

Other Britons who have flown into space have done so ei­ther as pri­vate in­di­vid­u­als or by tak­ing US cit­i­zen­ship.

–BBC News

Tim Peake (left) is the first Bri­ton to travel to the

In­ter­na­tional Space Sta­tion.

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