Major Tim Peake, the United Kingdom’s first “official” UK Space Agency/ESA astronaut has flown into orbit as part of the crew aboard the Soyuz TMA-019M rocket, which successfully lifted off from its Baikonur launch site in Kazakhstan at 1103 GMT on 15 December 2015. The full crew aboard was Expedition 46 Soyuz Commander Yuri Malenchenko, of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), Flight Engineer Tim Kopra, of NASA, and Flight Engineer Tim Peake of ESA (European Space Agency).  After a fly-around of the International Space Station (ISS), Soyuz TMA-019M made an initial automatic approach to the Rassvet module at 1708 GMT, but this was aborted and a manual approach was then attempted with docking completed at 1733 GMT.

Malenchenko, Kopra and Peake will spend the next six months living and working aboard the ISS.  The full flight sequence is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6q3l_1oY-0

Major Tim Peake gives a thumbs up sign during his launch into orbit. Courtesy: Roscosmos

Major Tim Peake gives a thumbs up sign during his launch into orbit. Courtesy: Roscosmos

Tim Peake becomes the second “full Briton” to fly in space after Helen Sharman’s privately sponsored flight to the Mir space station in 1991.  There have been dual-nationality Anglo-American Britons launched into orbit via NASA’s space programme, including Piers Sellars, Nick Patrick and Michael Foale, as well as self-funded dual nationality space tourists such as Richard Garriott (UK-US) and Mark Shuttleworth (UK-South African).

Launch of Soyuz TMA-019M with Tim Peake aboard. Courtesy: NASA/Joel Kowsky.

Launch of Soyuz TMA-019M with Tim Peake aboard. Courtesy: NASA/Joel Kowsky.