Here's how Tim Peake set off on his trip to the International Space Station

NASA Expedition 46 launch

UK astronaut Tim Peake's mission to the International Space Station has begun with a smooth lift-off from Earth at just after 11am GMT.

Down below you can see the moment the Soyuz craft lifted off from an air base in Kazakhstan.

The first official UK astronaut will perform a six month tour aboard the space station, performing a variety of experiments to further science and space knowledge as well as keeping us updated on social media.

lift off - NASA

He's ok

Tim Peake gave the thumbs up and waved at the cameras during the second stage of the launch process as the rockets on the Soyuz projected the team through our atmosphere at over 13,500mph.

tim peake wave - NASA

Wait, what just happened?

We're not sure what happened here, it looks like there may have been a quick change of mind as one of the astronauts stops the other from doing something during the third stage launch process. That's when the rockets drop off and the Soyuz enters Earth's orbit.

YuriTimothyK - NASA

We can see the jolt of separation at the start followed by the interaction between astronauts Yuri Malenchenko and Timothy Kopra, which luckily ended with a gesture of acknowledgement and no further drama.


Luckily the third stage went smoothly, and in a world first, the Soyuz should dock with the ISS in six hours. That's a record for the fastest time docking.

Good luck on your travels, Expedition 46!

Images and launch clips courtesy of NASA