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Summary

  1. Tim Peake launches into space and becomes Britain's first official astronaut to fly to the International Space Station
  2. His lift-off, on a Russian Soyuz rocket with Russian commander Yuri Malenchenko and US astronaut Tim Kopra, happened at 11:03 GMT
  3. After six-and-a-half hours, at 17:33 GMT, their capsule successfully docked with the ISS
  4. Two-and-a-half hours after that, the hatch finally opened and the ISS crew welcomed the three newcomers on board
  5. Mr Peake, previously an Army major and helicopter pilot, will spend six months on board the space station orbiting the Earth
  6. He has spent six years training to become the first professional British astronaut to be employed by the European Space Agency

Live Reporting

By Jonathan Webb

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Goodbye from us - and #GoodLuckTim

    Thank you for reading, watching and contributing to the BBC's live coverage of Tim Peake's launch day.

    That's it from us, for now.

    If you've found today's events inspiring, watch the video below about the training involved in going to space - and read this BBC News feature: How likely am I to become an astronaut?

    Video content

    Video caption: Tim Peake's six years of astronaut training before his mission to space.
  2. Tim Peake's mum: 'Spectacular day in the office'

    Tim received a glowing review from his mum, Angela, back in Baikonur. It was a fitting exchange at the end of a long day.

    "Hello Tim. I think you would call today a spectacular day in the office."

    "We had a great time in the office, that's for sure."

    "Everybody sends their love and I hope you have a wonderful time."

    "Thanks very much - and love to everybody back home."

    View more on twitter
  3. A long distance call to remember: Tim Peake speaks to his family

    Tim Peake's family
    Image caption: The phone is still being passed around the Baikonur cinema
    Quote Message: It was a beautiful launch... That first sunrise was absolutely spectacular - and we also got a moonrise on the first orbit as well. It was beautiful to see. from Tim Peake UK astronaut
    Tim PeakeUK astronaut
    Tim Peake and other astronauts smiling
    Image caption: Tim waves to Earth
  4. Tim Peake and his ISS companions hear from friends and family

    A phone is being passed around the cinema packed with well-wishers in Baikonur, Kazakhstan, near where the Soyuz rocket first lifted off this morning.

    The International Space Station Crew - now expanded by three - is listening in.

    Astronauts
    Family with phone
  5. BreakingThe hatch is open! Three new crew members welcomed to the ISS

    Tim Peake, Yuri Malenchenko and Tim Kopra are all safely on board the International Space Station.

    Astronauts
    Image caption: Tim Peake floats onto the ISS
    Family and friends in Baikonur applaud
    Image caption: Family and friends in Baikonur applaud
  6. Not a bad view while they wait...

    We just got this glimpse, from another external camera on the ISS, of the round window that was next to Tim Peake while the Soyuz made its ascent.

    The craft is now very safely docked at the International Space Station - as you can see in the photo...

    Soyuz capsule docked at the ISS

    "These things do sometimes take time," say the European Space Agency commentators.

    "Sometimes it's faster, sometimes it's slower."

  7. Waiting for a slow download?

    Nasa astronaut Chris Hadfield, speaking on Stargazing Live (watch using the "Live Coverage" tab above) speculated that perhaps the Soyuz crew - Tim Peake and his two companions - were trying to download all the data from their capsule before shutting it down.

    This might be important if they want to troubleshoot and understand more about the issues they encountered at docking - but, of course, this is simply speculation.

    Stargazing Live
  8. The hatch is open on the Space Station side

    ...but we're still waiting for the Soyuz capsule to open the door on its side.

    Astronauts with open hatch

    Meanwhile, theories are beginning to come forward about what we're waiting for...

  9. Still waiting for the all clear...

    Discussions are continuing in Russian on the audio from mission control - and everybody is keen to see the new crew members arrive as soon as possible!

    Astronauts with arms folded
    Astronaut at the hatch
  10. Family and friends watch on from Baikonur, Kazakhstan

    Fresh from the launch this morning, well-wishers are gathered in a cinema in Baikonur, waiting to watch the moment of ingress...

    Family watching on
  11. A welcoming party gathers on board

    Astronauts on the ISS
    astronauts
  12. The Soyuz craft, docked snug and tight

    Adjustments and checks are being done inside - but here's the Soyuz craft seen from an external camera on a different part of the International Space Station:

    Soyuz craft and part of the ISS
  13. Stargazing Live - watch now

    The problem with our BBC Two feed has been fixed.

    Using the tabs above you can now watch Dara O Briain and Prof Brian Cox hosting a special edition of Stargazing Live, "Brit in Space".

    Stargazing Live

    Right now, they're talking to ISS veteran Commander Chris Hadfield about how Tim Peake will be feeling.

    Not great, apparently.

    And he might take a few days to get used to floating around...

    Quote Message: We need to give him a little while before he get adapted. from Chris Hadfield Nasa astronaut
    Chris HadfieldNasa astronaut
  14. Minutes from ingress - watch live coverage now

    Use the "Live Coverage" tab above to watch live footage as we wait for Tim Peake and his fellow crew members to enter the International Space Station.

    You can watch the stream from the European Space Agency (Esa) or the BBC News Channel.

    We're having some technical problems with the live stream of BBC Two's Stargazing Live special - for which we apologise.

  15. Esa director: Manual docking 'happens once in a while'

    Paul Rincon

    Science editor, BBC News website, Baikonur

    Tim Peake's successful docking at the ISS means that five out of the six European space agency astronaut class of 2009 have now flown into space.

    I asked Thomas Reiter, director of human space flight at ESA, and a former astronaut, what it meant.

    "It's a great success. In 2009, we would never have thought that we would have been and to fly them all in five years... Tim contributed to that by doing such a good job during his training.

    2I think the way he is communicating is excellent. We are all really proud of him."

    On the frequency of a manual docking of the Soyuz, he said: "I cannot tell you any statistics, but it happens every once in a while. Commanders are always very happy when it happens because one of the last tasks a crew has to rehearse here in Baikonur before launch is a manual docking.

    "It's not just the commanders doing it, the whole crew needs to work together. Despite all the automated technology, when something goes wrong humans fly it in manually.

    "That's a good sign I think for the interactions between humans and the systems on board."

  16. Stick around, says the European Space Agency

    With a few minutes to go until the crew make their way weightlessly onto the space station, Esa tweets:

    And don't forget you'll be able to watch another Stargazing Live special, "Brit in Space", right here on this page from 19:00 GMT.

  17. UK 'rejoining the international space community'

    Paul Rincon

    Science editor, BBC News website, Baikonur

    I caught up with David Parker, chief executive of the UK Space Agency, and asked him what Tim's successful launch meant for Britain.

    He said: "It's massive for the UK space agency. It's the thing we've been working for and dreaming about for a very long time. It signals the UK rejoining the whole of the international space community."

    Mr Parker was also excited thinking of the impact on young people:

    Quote Message: It's fantastic to have kids all around the country watching this and... hopefully dreaming big dreams."

    On whether the UK could sustain its involvement in human space flight beyond Tim's mission, he it was "too early" to say for sure.

    "It's certainly what we'd like to happen. We need to see the impact from this project. 

    "As well as Tim's mission, there's the science that's going to happen on the space station even after Tim comes back - and there's technology being built in the UK that will go on the ISS in a few years' time." 

  18. 'A very interesting and unusual docking procedure'

    Here's the moment the Soyuz capsule, with its three crew members on board, finally acheived "capture" at the ISS.

    View more on twitter

    Two posts below, you can read our online science editor Paul Rincon's discussion of this manual docking effort.