It's touchdown for British astronaut Tim Peake

It has been an exhilarating six months for UK astronaut Major Tim Peake.

Saturday, 18th June 2016, 10:19 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 7:10 pm
Tim Peake - Picture: PA

His Soyuz space capsule parachuted down to a remote spot in the vast scrubland steppe of Kazakhstan, landing at 10.15am UK time.

First reports said the craft had landed on its side, having been caught by the wind. This is not unusual, according to mission controllers.

Travelling with Major Peake were crewmates American Nasa astronaut Colonel Tim Kopra and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko.

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A rescue and recovery team raced to the landing site almost 300 miles south west of the major city of Karaganda.

Tim’s dad Nigel, 74, of Westbourne, was relieved to see his son safely back on earth.

He said: ‘It’s absolutely wonderful. It’s magic. It was the perfect touchdown.

‘We had a perfect launch in December with lovely weather. And to see that (the space capsule) come down is magnificent.’

He added when he saw him he would congratulate him for a ‘job well done.’

‘I’m so proud of him in what he has achieved and very grateful he has had the opportunity.

‘Everyone has done such a magnificent job up there and all the back-up crew here.

‘It’s good to see something that works so well.’

Tim’s mum Angela was glowing after watching triumphant Tim’s landing in Kazakhstan.

She said the re-entry had been the trickiest part of the operation but admitted that the family was very relaxed during the 50-minute re-entry and landing process.

‘I just felt totally calm,’ she admitted to Sky News. ‘I’m excited now.’

She added the experience was something that she would never forget and that Tim’s spacewalk was a major highlight of his space odyssey.

Fred Gordon is the landlord of the Stag’s Head, in The Square, one of Tim’s local pubs in Westbourne.

He watched the live coverage of the Major’s re-entry with a few friends and punters in the pub.

Speaking to The News, Mr Gordon, 49, said: ‘It’s been incredibly exciting watching it all.

‘Tim is quite the local celebrity and hero in Westbourne. Everyone is talking about him here.

‘To think about what he has done and what he has achieved is astonishing really.

‘He has come into the pub a few times and he had a leaving do here in October.

‘But he is just a local guy, he is the most down-to-earth guy when he’s here.

‘He’s been a real inspiration.’