ASTRONAUT Major Tim Peake has sent his first tweet from space.
The 43-year-old became the first Briton to go into space when he blasted off for a six-month stint on the International Space Station( ISS) on Tuesday.
In a tweet sent at 12.45pm yesterday he said: ‘Hi from ISS!
‘What an incredible ride to space yesterday – Soyuz felt so smooth & powerful.
‘Yuri did outstanding job getting us safely docked.’
Major Peake, from Westbourne, will carry out dozens of scientific experiments for researchers on Earth as he orbits the planet at an altitude of 220 miles and a speed of 17,900mph.
It is a great day for Tim Peake personally, and a great day for Britain as a wholeDavid Willetts
Former Havant MP David Willetts was in Kazakhstan to watch Major Peake launch.
During his tenure as Minister for Universities and Science Mr Willetts spent a lot of his time promoting the country’s space industry.
Speaking following Major Peake’s safe arrival at the ISS on Tuesday, Mr Willetts said: ‘It was a great day for Tim Peake personally, and a great day for Britain because the International Space Station is one of the world’s great science experiments.
‘ It’s one of its great science and technological achievements.
‘Britain really should have been part of it and at last we are. We appreciate the very warm welcome we’ve had as we arrived, just slightly late, for this party.’
He said space has always been one of the things the UK has been very good at – particularly making large and small satellites.
He added: ‘We had those distinctive strengths but we weren’t participating in manned space flight. And manned space flight is a crucial part of the space project.
‘It’s very hard to be a full participant if you’re not taking part in that.
‘I’ve always been a great believer that we should do that and I found in the European Space Agency great partners that we could trust, that we could work with and who welcomed us into the Space Station.’
Life aboard ISS will be far from comfortable.
Day-to-day Major Peake and his fellow astronauts will work, sleep, and exercise according to a strictly regimented routine.
When they want to sleep they have to wrap themselves inside sleeping bags hooked on to the walls of their cabins.
The only windows are in the cupola, an observation deck offering magnificent views of the Earth.