British astronaut Tim Peake blasts off for space station
Published 15/12/2015 | 11:21
Major Tim Peake has blasted off into orbit on board the Soyuz space capsule on his way to becoming the first British astronaut to join the crew of the International Space Station (ISS).
The Russian rocket launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in front of the world's media following weeks of preparation.
Major Peake, 43, is making history as the first fully British professional astronaut to be employed by a space agency.
Images of the launch showed the trail of flames the rocket left in its wake as it sped up into the blue sky, before it became a tiny fleck in the distance.
A view of inside the capsule showed the astronauts in their space suits as the rocket lifted off.
Major Peake could be identified by the Union Flag on his sleeve.
He smiled at the camera, waved and gave a thumbs up as they sat back in their seats for the journey into space.