Tim Peake has become the first British ESA astronaut to be launched into space

 

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Tim blasts off. CREDIT: BBC/NASA

After two weeks in quarantine, six years of preparation and 6,000 hours of intense training, Tim Peake has become first official UK European Space Agency astronaut to travel in to space.

Previous “British” astronauts have either had a private contract (Helen Sharman) or American citizenship (Michael Foale, Gregory H. Johnson, Piers Sellers and Nicholas Patrick).

READ MORE: Spot the station over Wirral & Liverpool this Christmas

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Tim heads towards space. CREDIT: BBC/NASA

Tim has taken off on a 6 hour journey up from the launch pad at the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station, were he will conduct a number of experiments and help repair the aging space station.

 

German Esa astronaut Alexander Gerst, who was selected along with Mr Peake for the astronaut class of 2009, told BBC News: “He’s had 6,000 hours of training – a brutal amount over several years.

“He also went through preparation for launch earlier this year when he was on the back-up crew for another mission… so he’s now completely ready.”

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Thumbs up from Tim in space. CREDIT: BBC/NASA

Tim will conduct 265 experiments on the ISS and will test technology that could eventually be used for more manned missions to elsewhere in our solar system.

Find out when you can watch the International Space Stations first pass over Merseyside with Tim onboard here.

 

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