British astronaut Tim Peake touches down after six months in space

 
Jake Cordell
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Tim Peake spent just over six months on the International Space Station
Tim Peake spent just over six months on the International Space Station (Source: Getty)

Tim Peake has successfully touched down after his six month stint on the International Space Station (ISS) this morning, completing a mammoth return journey with a smooth landing in Kazakhstan this morning.

The British astronaut, who arrived on the space station in December, landed at 10.15am this morning after a journey which lasted around three hours, but which took a total of seven hours to complete after climbing into the Soyuz return capsule from the ISS.

Peake spent a total of 186 days in space. During his time he completed a space walk, ran a marathon, controlled a car, took an incredible amount of photos and conducted a number of scientific experiments.

Tim Peake and his two colleagues take off on 15 December 2015

Take off from the launch site in rural Kazakhstan in December

The return to Earth is seen as the most dangerous part of the entire six month mission, with a critical five minute window when the capsule re-enters the Earth's atmosphere.

The capsule carrying the three astronauts back reached speeds of 17,398mph with the outside temperature hitting 1,600 degrees. Upon coming back into the Earth's atmosphere the capsule rapidly decelerated to around 514mph - a similar seed to conventional passenger airlines. That process exerts a force of around 5g on the astronauts.

Peake will now undergo around rigorous medical tests to check how his body coped with six months of weightlessness. These are scheduled to last around two and a half hours. The astronauts will then hold a news conference in Kazakhstan before returning to the European Space Agency headquarters in Cologne to be reunited with family and friends later tonight.

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