British astronaut Tim Peake has said he would return to the International Space Station (ISS) “in a heartbeat”.
Speaking at the European Space Agency in Cologne, three days after returning to Earth, he added: “I can say that happily because I’ve already spoken to my wife about it and she’s extremely supportive.”
But he said his wife and two sons would see plenty of him before he thinks about returning to space.
“Of course, I’d like to put the family first now for a while and life is all about having a balance, and as a father and a husband, the balance now is to have some family time,” he said.
Asked by Sky News science correspondent Thomas Moore to describe the trip back to earth on Saturday, Major Peake said: “The descent is a really exciting ride.
“You’ve got two minds really – one is as a professional, and certainly as a test pilot, but at the same time you can’t help the boy inside you that’s enjoying this fantastic ride back from space.
“Separation was very dynamic.”
Expanding on his desire to go back into orbit, Major Peake said: “Working and living on board the International Space Station is the best place you could possibly wish as a professional to be.
“You’re very aware that you’re doing absolute cutting edge technology. You may be touching six or seven experiments in one day.
“You’re very aware that these experiments are the result of hundreds if not thousands of people in each of their areas of speciality, and you’re the person running the experiment, so it’s a hugely privileged place to work, and that is very rewarding and very satisfying.”
Asked how he is coping with gravity again, he said: “I’m feeling a lot better than I did on Saturday lunchtime, that’s for sure.”
Referring to his trip into space, back in December, he said he was “amazed after just 24 hours, living on board the space station, how quickly I was able to function.
“It’s a bit slower coming the other way, I can tell you, and it’s a bit harder.
“But after three days – I’ve just been doing some rehabilitation training, doing some cycling, some cross trainer, some balance exercises, so even just after three days I’m feeling fantastic.”