Major Tim Peake: ‘It was a beautiful launch’

British astronaut Major Tim Peake (second right) with crew members Russian commander Yuri Malenchenko (front centre) and US astronaut Tim Kopra (left) at the the International Space Station (ISS). European Space Agency/PA Wire

British astronaut Major Tim Peake (second right) with crew members Russian commander Yuri Malenchenko (front centre) and US astronaut Tim Kopra (left) at the the International Space Station (ISS). European Space Agency/PA Wire

Aaron Prior, 15, and his mum Sam Picture: Sarah Standing (170834-4170)

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ASTRONAUT Major Tim Peake has communicated with his friends and family from space for the first time.

The ex-Army helicopter pilot from Westbourne, near Emsworth, boarded the International Space Station at around 8pm tonight after a six and a half hour journey from Earth.

On contact with his family back on earth, Maj Peake said: ‘It was a beautiful launch.

‘That first sunrise was absolutely spectacular - and we also got a moonrise on the first orbit as well. It was beautiful to see.’

His mum Angela said: ‘I think you will call today a spectacular day in the office.’

Maj Peake responded by saying: ‘I think we had a great day in the office, that’s for sure.’

He also communicated with his dad Nigel and his wife Rebecca, who were in a packed cinema in Baikonur, Kazakhstan, near where the Soyuz rocket first lifted off this morning.

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