Main content

Tim Peake's five facts about space flight

Soyuz TMA-19M took British astronaut Tim Peake to the International Space Station and returned him to Earth.

The capsule is now on display at the Science Museum. Major Tim Peake lists five things you need to know about space travel

1. Don't have a problem with confined spaces

"Sitting in the Soyuz is quite comfortable once you get in there.

"It’s a very tight space, a very cramped space. It wouldn’t suit anybody who suffered at all from claustrophobia.

"Once you get in there and settled in to your seat it can be quite comfortable.”

2. Take time to look out the window

"The first view out of the window is on launch, after the nose fairing goes, that’s your first opportunity to look out the window.

"We launched at about 5 o’clock in the evening from Kazakhstan heading east so we went straight in to the night time part of Earth’s orbit.

"So my first view was just seeing the earth by night and seeing a wonderful moon rise through this window."

3. Landing is bumpier than launch

"Re-entry is actually more dynamic than launch.

"Launch is a wild ride, it’s great fun.

"It’s a constant acceleration getting up to to Mach 25.

"Re-entry is almost violent in that you’re experiencing more G.

"The parachute that opens has a very large canopy and can’t open straight away."

4. You have to brake from the speed of sound

"You’re still going above the speed of sound when you come back through the lower part of the atmosphere.

"So we have to have a braking chute come out first, then three chute drogues before the main canopy opens.

"The whole process of slowing you down and those drogue chutes deploying is very violent.

"Then finally the main canopy opens and everything settles down."

5. There's no place like home

"Hitting the steppes of Kazakhstan it’s a hard landing, we have soft landing thrusters on this vehicle which kind of cushions the blow a little bit.

"It’s great to get back…to smell the fresh air and the fresh grass.

"Being back on earth is wonderful.

"A really great experience."

Tim Peake's Soyuz capsule