Astronaut Tim Peake has become the first British national to reach the International Space Station (ISS). "That first sunrise was absolutely spectacular and we also got the benefit of a moonrise," Peake said on 15 December of his trip to the International Space Station.
Alongside Peake were Yuri Malenchenko, a veteran of long-duration space flights who is on his fourth space mission, and astronaut Tim Kopra. Peake and Kopra are both former Apache military helicopter pilots.
Peake, 43, is on a six-month mission for the European Space Agency (ESA). He became the first astronaut representing Britain and wearing a Union Jack flag on his arm. The first Briton in space was Helen Sharman, who travelled on a Soviet spacecraft for eight days in 1991. Peake heard from his wife Rebecca and his parents during a media event shortly after arriving on the ISS.
Rebecca Peake told her husband: "We love you." He responded with a wave and by making a thumbs-up sign. He later added: "Thank you very much and love to everybody back home." Malenchenko, Kopra and Peake are set to return to Earth on 5 June next year.