The Himalayan Mountains
The Himalayan Mountains, April 2016Tim Peake

After 186 days spent in space, British astronaut Tim Peake will leave the International Space Station (ISS) to return to Earth on 18 June. When he launched on 15 December 2015, Peake became the first British European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut to visit the International Space Station.

His mission − known as the "Principia mission" − involved more than 30 scientific experiments for the ESA, a dozen research activities for the other Station partners, and the testing of new technologies in the unique environment of space.

Peake also had time to go on a historic space walk, run the London Marathon on a treadmill and to capture breathtaking pictures of Earth as viewed from space, in a bid to inspire future generations to become tomorrow's astronauts. Educating the next generation was in fact a core element of Principia, with many schools engaging in talks with Peake during his time in space.

When he lands this weekend in the sparsely populated desert steppe of Kazakhstan, Peake will go straight to the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany, for check-ups and to aid research into how humans adapt to living in space.

To mark his return from space, IBTimes UK looks at some of his best Instagram pictures from his time on board the ISS.

Tim Peake
"Every so often our orbit lets us enjoy a longer sunrise and sunset − more time to capture the spectacular colours!"ESA/NASA
Tim Peake
AfricaESA/ NASA
Tim Peake
31 December 2015: The west coast of Canada from the International Space StationESA/NASA
Tim Peake
Mellit in SudanESA/NASA
Tim Peake pictures
This dam in South Dakote makes this river look like a dragon's tailTim Peake ESA/NASA
Tim Peake
South Africa from the Space Station's EarthKAMESA/NASA
Tim Peake
Himalayan valley under a full moonESA/ NASA
Tim Peake
A glacial river water flowing from this Patagonian ice fieldESA/NASA
Tim Peake
An iceberg, about the same size as London, drifts off AntarcticaESA/NASA
Tim Peake pictures
Tapajo river, Amazonia, BrazilTim Peake ESA/NASA
Tim Peake pictures
Cities at night viewed from spaceTim Peake ESA/NASA
From spacewalks to marathons: Tim Peake's best moments from his time in spaceIBTimes UK