Tim Peake: British astronaut says life in space 'way beyond expectations' in first press conference from ISS

Charlie Atkin
Friday 18 December 2015 17:39
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Tim Peake backflips in space

Major Tim Peake said that life in space was "way beyond his expectations" days after he blasted off from Earth.

Major Peake, the first fully British professional astronaut, launched from Kazakhstan on Tuesday aboard a Soyuz FG rocket, docking at the International Space Station at around 5.30pm, accompanied by Russian commander Yuri Malenchenko and AmericanTim Kopra.

The 43-year-old settled into life in space with some Earthly comforts - tea and a bacon sandwich - and described his first hour and 48 minutes aboard the ISS as "busy but incredible".

It's way better than I imagined

&#13; <p>Major Tim Peake</p>&#13;

Answering questions from journalists in his first press conference from the ISS, Major Peake said: "It is way better than I imagined. It is actually really hard to describe.

"The whole ride into space on the Soyuz rocket was so powerful."

Major Peake said he was surprised how quickly his body adapted to weightlessness.

"Well the first two hours is pretty rough," he said. "Every time you turn a corner or move your head, your ears send signals to the brain that do not really match your eyes so you do feel disorientated and dizzy. But I am amazed how quickly my body has adapted.

"On my second day I woke up feeling ready to go to work and I have had no problems since."

Upon request from one journalist, Major Peake even attempted a backflip in the weightlessness for viewers.

British astronaut Tim Peake at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, ahead of his launch to the International Space Station.

The greater surprise for Major Peake seemed to be looking outside the ISS.

"The most unexpected thing I think was the blackness of space. we always talk about seeing the view of planet earth and how beautiful it is and you come to expect that.

"But what people don't mention that much is when you look in the opposite direction and you see how dark space is. It is just the blackest black and that was a real surprise to me."

Additional reporting by Press Association

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