Tim Peake was rocketed to the International Space Station (ISS) for expeditions 46 and 47 on 15 December 2015. He launched successfully at 11:03 GMT from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on board Soyuz TMA-19M and will be spending six months on the ISS along with commander Tim Copra, flight engineer Jeff Williams (US) and flight engineers Oleg Skripochka, Yuri Malenchenko and Alexey Ovchinin (Russia).

The former regular British Army Air Corps officer participated in the first spacewalk outside the ISS by a British astronaut on 15 January 2016. The purpose of the spacewalk was to replace a faulty sequential shunt unit on the station's solar arrays.

The International Space Station travels at 28,800 km/h (18,000 mph) meaning that it only takes 90 minutes to circle the Earth. During the next orbit the Station moves around 2200km (1,367 miles) to the west, in relation to its previous position.

Astronauts are able to use digital cameras for taking photos by setting up the camera to take an image every few seconds, before playing the images back quickly, creating a time-lapse effect.

On 6 March, Tim Peake made a time lapse of an aurora, stating that "an aurora was photobombed by the International Space Station's solar array in this time-lapse".

Tim Peake
Mellit in Sudan ESA/NASA

In his latest interview on 19 March, Peake explained how gyroscopes can be used to keep spacecraft stable during his six-month Principia mission. Satellites track their pointing direction using the same approach as on submarines and aircraft aided by fast-spinning gyroscopes that maintain a fixed orientation in the same way as a child's spinning top.

On camera Peake allowed a small gyroscope to float in space gravity, before spinning it. He demonstrated how it would not stop spinning when it was touched and that it 'remained in the same plane [orientation]' even when it moved, giving us an insight into the way the ISS uses gyro stabilisation to control its position. The International Space Station has four big gyroscopes that are used for the stabilisation of the station.