Tim Peake’s spacecraft could land at Peterborough Cathedral this autumn

Wednesday 17 January

The Cathedral has been shortlisted to host an exhibition which will be out-of-this-world!

It was announced today (Wednesday 17th January 2018) that Peterborough Cathedral is one of five venues shortlisted to host an exhibition of the Soyuz TMA-19M spacecraft, which was used by Tim Peake for his 2015-16 Principia mission.

The spacecraft will be displayed with Space Descent VR, a unique virtual reality adventure using Samsung Gear VR technology. The exhibition is currently on a tour of UK cities organised by The Science Museum Group with Samsung UK, launched by Tim Peake, the European Space Agency Astronaut, with the aim of inspiring a new generation with a fascination for space.

The Cathedral entered a public competition to become the sixth venue on the spacecraft’s tour, bidding to host the show during autumn 2018. The winning venue will be selected by a panel of experts in the field of space science and announced on Friday 9th March.

Canon Tim Alban Jones, Acting Dean of Peterborough, said: “We are thrilled to have been shortlisted as a possible venue for Tim Peake’s spacecraft. It would be wonderful to celebrate our 900th anniversary year by showing such a futuristic exhibition in our ancient cathedral. Our schools and families department are itching to engage young people with all the learning opportunities this presents. We have a memorial in the Cathedral to the 20th century amateur astronomer, George Alcock, who is regarded as one of the most dedicated comet and nova-hunters of all time. We’d love to be part inspiring a new generation with this enthusiasm for space, should our bid be successful.”

Ian Blatchford, Director of the Science Museum Group said: “It is rarer to see the star object from a collection stray beyond the walls of the major London museums. The Science Museum Group - with sites in Bradford, Manchester, York and Shildon - is well placed to lead the charge. Hundreds of thousands of people will now see world-famous scientific objects in their home city, and I’m delighted at the prospect of some of these experiences coming outside of a traditional museum setting.”

For more information, visit https://group.sciencemuseum.org.uk/our-work/tim-peakes-spacecraft-tour/win-the-chance-to-host-tim-peakes-spacecraft or follow the story on social media – #SoyuzTour.

Further information

Competition judging panel
The panel deciding on the winning entry includes Science Museum Group Director Ian Blatchford, the UK Space Agency’s Human Spaceflight Manager Libby Jackson, Samsung’s Russell Taylor and Magali Vaissiere, Director of the European Centre for Space Applications and Telecommunications.

About the Science Museum Group
The Science Museum Group is the world’s leading alliance of science museums, welcoming over five million visitors each year to five sites: the Science Museum in London; the National Railway Museum in York; the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester; the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford; and Locomotion in Shildon. More information can be found at group.sciencemuseum.org.uk.

About the Soyuz TMA-19M descent module

  • Soyuz TMA-19M carried astronauts Yuri Malenchenko (Commander, Russia), Tim Kopra (Flight Engineer, USA) and Tim Peake (Flight Engineer, UK) to the International Space Station on 15 December 2015 and returned the same crew to Earth on 18 June 2016.

  • The crew was part of Expeditions 46 and 47 to the International Space Station.

  • The outer surfaces have been charred by temperatures of around 1,500 degrees Celsius experienced during atmospheric re-entry.

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