Tim Peake's view of Norwich, King's Lynn, Great Yarmouth, Cromer and Hunstanton from the International Space Station
PUBLISHED: 08:52 24 October 2017 | UPDATED: 12:07 24 October 2017
Views from the office don't come much better than this.
Astronaut Tim Peake captured this view of Britain from space, as he orbited high above the earth in the International Space Station.
Splashes of light from Norwich and King’s Lynn can clearly be seen, alongside the far bigger, brighter lights of London and our major cities.
Look carefully and you can just about make out Lowestoft, Great Yarmouth, Cromer and Hunstanton.
Away from the cities and towns, pools of darkness denote some of the remoter areas of our region, while the seas are black around our coast.
The spectacular image is included in a new book Ask an Astronaut: My Guide to Life in Space, which is out now.
“Life on the ISS is extremely busy,” he said. “But on Sundays we usually had some free time to call family and friends back home, whilst watching the world go by.”
There can’t be any better vantage points for the latter. And you probably get a better mobile signal out in space than you do in some parts of Norfolk.
Major Tim Peake, 45, is a former Army Air Corps pilot who beat 9,000 applicants to train as an astronaut with the European Space Agency.
He was launched into space in December 2015 and spent six months on the International Space Station, during which he orbited the earth 3,000 times, did a spacewalk and carried out experiments in zero gravity.
“Collecting data for science is a huge part of life on the International Space Station,” said Maj Peake. “Some of the studies that I found most interesting were ‘life-science’ experiments – whether taking blood samples, testing for airway inflammation or investigating muscle atrophy – the research was always fascinating.”
One difference he noticed was when he went to sleep in zero gravity.
He said: “It’s not as simple as you would think and never quite as satisfying as it is on Earth – collapsing into bed and resting your head on a pillow.”
Returning home, he began work on Ask an Astronaut. He canvassed questions on social media and was soon bombarded with queries.
One curious fan even asked: “How do you go to the loo in space?” Maj Peake admitted: “Sometimes things go horribly wrong.”
Asked what DVDs the crew watched out in space, he replied: “Star Wars.”