Astronaut Tim Peake touches down at Techniquest, Cardiff

Major Tim Peake high-fives pupils from Blaenymaes Primary School Image copyright Techniquest

Astronaut Tim Peake has given Welsh schoolchildren a first-hand account of life in space - including how he listened to Lady Gaga before lift off and did somersaults brushing his teeth.

More than 200 pupils got to hear about Maj Peake's time on the International Space Station (ISS) during his visit to Techniquest, Cardiff.

The visit was part of his post-flight tour of the UK.

Maj Peake said he was "extremely touched" by everyone's support.

During his visit, pupils quizzed him about his six-month Principia mission - including those from Severn Primary School in Cardiff, Coed-Y-Brain Primary School in Caerphilly, Maesglas Primary School in Newport, Ysgol Abergwili in Carmarthen and Builth Wells High School, Powys, who communicated with him via a radio link in March.

Image copyright Techniquest
Image caption Major Tim Peake with Ethan, of Blaenymaes Primary School

Questions to Maj Peake:

  • What does space smell like? "Space itself has a remarkable smell, a metallic burning smell."
  • What was the most disgusting space food you tasted? "A lot of it was bland and mushy. Mushy peas was the worst."
  • What was your favourite thing to do in space? "Floating, it's just so much fun."
  • What did it feel like travelling back to earth? "It was incredible, really exciting... It is just one big rollercoaster."
  • What did you pack to go into space? "I took some things from my family but some fun things like a tuxedo T-shirt. I thought, 'I'm British, I need a tuxedo in space'."
  • What was the strangest thing you saw in space? "Clouds from rocket trails high above the atmosphere."

Pupils from Blaenymaes Primary School, Swansea, were also there after failing to speak to Maj Peake during a live link-up event in Liverpool in February.

Pupil Ben, 10, said it was "exciting" they finally got to chat to him.

"To hear Tim Peake answer our questions was amazing," he said.

"From going to Liverpool then coming here, it's the best experience of my life."

Image copyright Techniquest

Fellow pupil Katie, 10, added: "I can't believe it. The best thing is he is inspiring children like me to do what he has done."

Maj Peake's visit coincided with the science discovery centre's 30th anniversary.

Techniquest chief executive Lesley Kirkpatrick said: "Tim's journey and time on the International Space Station has given us a great opportunity to encourage children to be more curious about space and science."

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