Major Peake will begin his journey back to Earth in the early hours of Saturday morning and is expected to touch down just after 9.14am on Saturday, June 18. After six months spent floating above the planet on board a space station, British astronaut Tim Peake is set to return home.
If all goes to plan, the capsule containing Peake, commander Yuri Malenchenko and NASA’s Tim Kopra will land on the steppes of Kazakhstan.
From there, they will journey to the European Space Agency’s astronaut home base in Cologne, Germany for checkups and debriefing .
Eventually, Major Peake will be allowed to return to the UK and no doubt feel the rain on his face again.
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After farewells to the International Space Station at 2am on Saturday it will be up to a Russian Soyuz TMA-19M spacecraft to transport the three astronauts home.
They will undock from the ISS at 5.51am and separation will occur a minute later.
After what’s called the deorbit burn (rotating of the craft to prepare for re-entry), the Soyuz will separate into three parts – one of which is the descent module carrying the astronauts.
Tim Peake’s Selfie
At the point of re-entry, the craft will be travelling at 28,800km/h and when they hit the breaks, Major Peake will experience a force of 4-5g – roughly four or five times his own bodyweight.
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Parachutes are then fired and – at the last second – retrorockets fire to reduce the speed even further. The module will be travelling around 5km/h when it hits terra firma.
Rescue teams should already be on site to pick up the returning space voyagers.
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Best Tim Peake moments aboard the ISS