Astrophysicist will have an enviable front row seat for the launch of Tim Peakes Soyuz spacecraft

Martin Barstow, (pictured) Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Head of the College of Science and Engineering and Professor of Astrophysics and Space Science, will watch the launch of Tim Peake's Soyuz spacecraft live from mission control in Kazakhstan today (TUE).

He will have the privilege of being at the launch of the Principia mission, which takes place at 11.03am (GMT) from the Baikonur cosmodrome.

Former Army helicopter pilot Tim Peake, 43, will make space exploration history when he becomes the first British astronaut to visit the International Space Station (ISS).

He will be joined by Nasa astronaut Tim Kopra and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko aboard the space-bound Soyuz rocket as part of the Expedition 46/47 crew.

Watching the historic event from mission control will be Professor Barstow who has been keeping a diary of the trip after arriving in Kazakhstan on Saturday.

Joining him are a number of dignitaries from the UK, including the Government's chief scientific adviser Sir Mark Walport, former science minister Lord Willetts and CEO of the UK Space Agency Dave Parker.

Keep up to date with Professor Barstow's experience via his Twitter account.