The Expedition 46 crew, Commander Yuri Malenchenko of the Russian Federal Space Agency, American Flight Engineer 1 Timothy Kopra of NASA, and British Flight Engineer 2 Timothy Peake. lifted off successfully from launch pad no.1, or Gargarin’s start as it’s been known since 1961, at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
Their tried and tested Soyuz TMA-M capsule perched on top of the fifty metre Soyuz FG launch vehicle hurtled into the air and within two minutes the Stage 2 boosters separated.
Aboard the capsule, the crew remained focused on the mission; however Major Tim did manage to give a thumbs up, and a wave.
Tim will be the first Briton to join the crew of the ISS, amongst them NASA astronaut Scott Kelly, who is spending a year on the space station as part of a medical research programme which will no doubt help in the future mission of landing men (and women) on Mars.