The Soyuz spacecraft in which Tim Peake travelled to the International Space Station has been bought by the Science Museum Group and will go on public display.

It is the first flown human spacecraft that will be displayed at the museum. It weighs about 1.5 tonnes, and its outer surfaces show signs of charring from its re-entry to Earth's atmosphere, when it was heated to about 1,500°C.

Soyuz TMA-19M carried Russian astronaut Yuri Malenchenko, American astronaut Tim Kopra and Peake to the ISS almost a year ago, on 15 December 2015. The crew took the same spacecraft back to Earth on 18 June.

Soyuz TMA-19M was bought on the 50th anniversary of the first ever Soyuz flight.

"Russian ingenuity led to the birth of the space age and today it still plays a critical role, notably in long duration missions to pave the way for the next great leap into the cosmos," said Science Museum Group director Ian Blatchford in a statement.

Tim Peake
Tim Peake after landing on Earth after his trip to the ISS on the Soyuz spacecraft. ESA Stephane Corvaja

"It is a great honour to be here to officially acquire the first flown human spacecraft in the Science Museum Group collection, one which allowed Tim Peake to make his historic journey to the International Space Station."

Vladimir Soltnsev, General Director of RSC Energia, the Russian organisation that made the spacecraft, said: "I would like to hope that this special symbol of Russia will become one of the highlights of the Science Museum Group collection, attracting many new visitors."

Soyuz
The Soyuz spacecraft in space ESA / NASA