ZHEZKAZGAN, Kazakhstan — British astronaut Tim Peake returned to Earth after spending six months on the International Space Station. Peake landed in Kazakstan in a Soyuz capsule alongside Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko and U.S. astronaut Timothy Kopra on Saturday afternoon.
After landing Peake told the BBC that he felt “truly elated” to be back on Earth after his lengthy stay on the space station. “The smells of Earth are just so strong, just so good to be back on Earth,” he said. “I’ll look forward to seeing the family.”
The spacecraft reportedly turned over several times before finally making its landing. Peake, who was chosen from a pool of 8,000 applicants to join the European Space Agency astronaut training program in 2009 said it would likely take him a while to get used to living on Earth again.
“It is going to be quite tricky for me to adapt. It’s probably going to take me two or three days before I feel well,” he said. “It will take me several months before my body fully recovers in terms of bone density. And it will be interesting to see any lasting changes to eyesight etc.”
While aboard the ISS, Peake and the other two crew members were responsible for conducting scientific research in biology, biotechnology and science.
“We’re really in a very privileged position up here, we have an enormous responsibility with regard to the science that we’re trying to do, and so we just have to try and be as professional as possible,” he told CNN.
In April, Peake also completed the London Marathon in 3:35:21 while strapped to a treadmill aboard the International Space Station.