Published On: Tue, Dec 15th, 2015

Astronaut Tim Peake blasts off on historic space mission

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1Astronaut Tim Peake made history Tuesday, blasting off from a launchpad in Kazakhstan on his way to join the crew of the International Space Station.

Peake, a European Space Agency astronaut, will spend six months orbiting the Earth with the crew of the ISS.

He will be the first British astronaut to join the ISS crew — and the first “official” British astronaut in space. There have been other UK-born astronauts, but they either held U.S. citizenship or were privately funded.

Peake, 43, lifted off from Pad 1 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome — the same launchpad used by Sputnik, the first satellite, and Russia’s Yuri Gagarin, the first human in space — on board the Soyuz TMA-19M spacecraft.

The journey should take about six hours, according to NASA, during which the craft will orbit the Earth four times at 28,800 kilometers (around 17,900 miles) per hour.

more BBC

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