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Watch the first British astronaut in over 20 years blast off for the ISS

Tim Peake is joined by NASA astronaut Tim Kopra and experienced cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko.

One in, one out. Or to be more specific, three in and three out. A trio of astronauts descended from the International Space Station (ISS) on Friday, making way for a new group of space-smitten explorers. Among the group blasting off today is Tim Peake, the first British astronaut to visit the ISS and the first UK astronaut to explore space in over 20 years. He'll be joined by NASA astronaut Tim Kopra and experienced cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko, who in 2003 became the first person to marry in space.

The craft carrying Peake, Kopra and Malenchenko is scheduled to launch at 11am GMT (12pm CET/6am ET/3am PT) and you can watch it live through the European Space Agency (ESA) livestream below. Alternatively, if you're based on the British Isles, you can watch it on BBC One from 10:30am.

It should take around six hours for the Soyuz TMA-19M spacecraft to reach the famous orbiting outpost. Docking will begin at around 5:23pm GMT (6:23pm CET/12:23pm ET/9:23am PT), with ESA coverage kicking off 23 minutes earlier. The hatch opening and a press conference with the complete ISS crew will then begin at 6:45pm GMT (7:45pm CET/1:45pm ET/10:45am PT) -- an again, you can choose between the ESA stream or the BBC's "Stargazing Live" coverage, which kicks off at 7pm on BBC Two.

[Image Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire]

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