Astronaut concern for UK floods

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Tim Peake captured this image of northern England as cloud briefly cleared

British astronaut Tim Peake has expressed his concern from the International Space Station for those affected by floods in his home country.

The former Army pilot took a picture of the UK as he passed overhead, posting it on his Twitter account.

Mr Peake also told US radio stations in a link-up that his present on Christmas Day was a small pack of Scottish fudge.

In addition, he received some notes and photos from family and friends, the astronaut said.

Mr Peake arrived at the space station on 15 December. He is due to spend six months on the orbiting platform, conducting science experiments and pursuing outreach projects with students back on Earth.

In the teleconference with American media, the European Space Agency (Esa) astronaut was joined by colleagues Scott Kelly and Tim Kopra.

They all spoke about life aboard the station, and were predictably questioned about how they spent Christmas Day and whether they had any plans to celebrate New Year.

The trio said that it was Mr Peake who had the most interesting food to share among the crew for their Christmas meal. Mr Kopra revealed: “Tim had some foie gras.”

All the ISS crew will get New Year’s Day off. The British astronaut plans to spend some of it in the station’s observation room, known as the Cupola. This has large windows and affords spectacular views of Earth.

Mr Peake also spoke a little more about the “wrong number” he dialled on Christmas Eve. It was picked up by retired teacher Betty Barker, who put the phone down on him.

He blamed an error on the spreadsheet he was using. “That’s my story, anyway,” he said. “I think she just thought I was a drunk Christmas Eve reveller.”

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