Tim Peake returns to Earth after International Space Station mission

British astronaut Tim Peake has returned to Earth in dramatic style after ending the six-month International Space Station (ISS) mission that earned him an honour from the Queen for "extraordinary service beyond our planet".

Saturday, 18th June 2016, 9:24 am
Updated Saturday, 18th June 2016, 11:23 am
Tim Peake. Picture by 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.

Picture via PA.

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

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

In the last few minutes of the descent the Soyuz was filmed floating through banks of white cloud beneath its huge main parachute canopy, which covers 10,764 square feet.

One second before touchdown six retro-rockets beneath the space capsule are supposed to fire and slow the impact speed to 3mph.

Picture via PA.

No confirmation has yet been received that the rockets did fire.

Technicians are now surrounding the capsule preparing to open the hatch and extract Major Peake and his two crew

Picture by PA
Tim Peake. Picture by PA.
Picture via PA.
Picture via PA.
Picture by PA
Tim Peake. Picture by PA.