Excitement builds for Tim Peake’s return to Earth

Major Tim Peake on the International Space Station
Major Tim Peake on the International Space Station
A screen shot from the CCTV footage

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THE family of British astronaut Tim Peake are excited by his return to Earth.

His parents, Nigel and Angela Peake, have now flown over to Germany to be reunited with him following his history-making trip into space.

Maj Peake is due to return to Earth tomorrow after more than 170 days in space.

The 44-year-old travelled to the International Space Station in December after blasting off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazahkstan.

The dad-of-two, who attended the University of Portsmouth, became the first man to run a marathon in space when he completed the 26.2-mile distance from the ISS treadmill at the same time as the 2016 London Marathon.

Nigel, from Westbourne, near Emsworth, where Tim grew up, said: ‘It will be great to see him again and check up on all the news and excitement. His boys will love to see him again and find out what he’s been up to.

‘We will just be quietly getting together with him.

‘The first few days will be very strange while he is reacclimatised. There won’t be any big parties, that’s for sure!’

Nigel said he knew his son would be looking forward to some quality time with his two sons and wife Rebecca.

Major Peake will be among three crew returning to Earth.

The trio will climb aboard the tiny Soyuz space capsule, closing the door at 3.35am BST tomorrow and undocking from the space station at 6.52am BST.

They will then begin their journey home hurtling towards Earth at speeds of 28000km/h before slowing down and re-entering the atmosphere.

The capsule will land in Kazakhstan at around 10.15am.

Major Peake will board a Nasa aircraft to Bodo, Norway, before taking another plane to Cologne in Germany, arriving at the European Astronaut Centre in the early hours of Sunday.

He will then undergo checks and tests as part of research into how humans adapt to living in space.