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Tim Peake compares readjusting to Earth to "world's worst hangover"

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After returning to Earth this weekend after a record 186 days aboard the International Space Station (ISS), Tim Peake has said he feels like he's suffering from the “world’s worst hangover” as his body adjusts to life on Earth.

Since landing on Saturday morning, dizziness and a sense of vertigo have caused Peake to feel less than great, but such symptoms are expected for anyone who has spent a sustained period of time in zero gravity.

im Peake, centre, is assisted by ground personnel upon his arrival at the airport of Karaganda in Kazakhstan after landing.
Tim Peake, centre, is assisted by ground personnel upon his arrival at the airport of Karaganda in Kazakhstan after landing (Shamil Zhumatov/AP)

Peake, 44, told ITV News: “You’re excited to be back, but you can’t fully enjoy the experience because, to be quite frank, you feel pretty terrible.

“It can only be described as something akin to the world’s worst hangover in terms of everything that is going on in your head.”

After being back on the planet for a matter of hours, Peake admitted that the biggest thing he would miss is the view from the International Space Station (ISS).

British astronaut Tim Peake.
Peake in a recovery helicopter shortly after landing (Stephane Corvaja/ESA)

“The view of Earth is the biggest thing, and it is probably the thing that has the biggest impact on you, so it is quite natural that is the thing you will miss the most,” he added.

During his tenure on the ISS, the former helicopter test pilot and father of two participated in more than 250 scientific experiments, performed a spacewalk, ran the London Marathon on a treadmill, and inspired more than a million schoolchildren with educational outreach activities.

His achievements earned him a Queen’s Birthday Honour: Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George for “extraordinary service beyond our planet.”

Peake greeting his mother Angela and father Nigel as he arrives at Cologne airport in Germany.
Peake greeting his mother Angela and father Nigel as he arrives at Cologne airport in Germany (Philippe Sebirot/ESA)

On Saturday, Peake and his crewmates – American Nasa astronaut Colonel Tim Kopra and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko – made the trip back to Earth in a tiny Soyuz space capsule measuring just over 6ft across.

As they entered the Earth's atmosphere, friction on the craft’s forward-facing heat shield slowed its speed from 17,398mph to 514mph and raised the temperature to around 1,600C.

The rapid deceleration pushed the crew back into their shock-absorbing seats with a force of up to 5G – five times normal Earth gravity.

Tim Peake shortly after landing near the town of Dzhezkazgan.
Peake being carried by ground personnel shortly after landing (Shamil Zhumatov/AP)

The journey lasted less than an hour, with the Soyuz TMA-19M descent module parachuting down to a remote spot on the vast Kazakhstan steppe to make a “bull’s-eye” landing. One second before touchdown, a burst of fire from six retro rockets beneath the capsule reduced the impact speed to 3mph.

Peake was the first British astronaut to be sent to the ISS by the European Space Agency.

His mission was named Principia after Sir Isaac Newton’s landmark work describing the laws of motion and gravity.

On July 7, another trio of space travellers – American Kate Rubins, Russian Anatoly Ivanishin and Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi – will fly to the space station from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. They will travel in a new upgraded version of the Soyuz, the MS-01, which has improved computer and avionics systems.




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