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Tim Peake Recalls His Re-Entry Back To Earth From The International Space Station

A 'tumbling' pyrotechnic display of sparks and flames.

21/06/2016 15:52 | Updated 21 June 2016

British astronaut Tim Peake has given a fascinating insight into his journey back to Earth from the International Space Station and has confirmed that if he could, he would return "in a heartbeat".

The ESA astronaut landed in Kazakhstan on Saturday after a six month mission aboard the ISS and described the "really exciting ride" that was re-entry.

Sascha Steinbach via Getty Images

Major Peake described a series of adrenaline-pumping events including his tiny Soyuz capsule “tumbling” in space, watching a pyrotechnic display of sparks and flames during the fiery descent through the Earth’s atmosphere, and the sensation of “falling back to Earth” as the building G-force pushed him back in his seat.

He also spoke of his “dream” of going to the Moon, his hope that the UK continues to fund manned space missions - and his relief at using a gravity-assisted Earth toilet at last.

The 44-year-old father-of-two returned to Earth from a six-month European Space Agency (Esa) mission on the ISS with American Nasa astronaut Colonel Tim Kopra and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko.

Their “descent module” - the only part of the three-section Soyuz TMA-19M spacecraft to complete the journey - parachuted down on to a remote spot on the vast Kazakhstan steppe at 10.15am UK time on Saturday.

SHAMIL ZHUMATOV via Getty Images

All three men are now undergoing an intense programme of rehabilitation and tests to help them re-adjust to Earth gravity and show scientists how their bodies have stood the strain of 186 days in space.

Major Peake spoke in a packed briefing room at the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany, where the Esa’s astronaut activities are based.

He was treated to a standing ovation when he made his appearance as members of the audience clapped and cheered.

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