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National Science and Media Museum

Tim Peake spacecraft’s next epic journey—across the UK

Soyuz TMA-19M’s national tour has been announced today by Tim Peake, Samsung and the Science Museum Group.

Tuesday 26 September 2017, Bradford, UK: European Space Agency Astronaut Tim Peake launched a ‘first of its kind’ national tour of the Soyuz spacecraft used for his Principia Mission, with the aim of inspiring a generation of people across the country.

The Science Museum Group, which acquired the capsule Soyuz TMA-19M in 2016, and global technology innovators Samsung, have joined forces to create The National Tour of Tim Peake’s Spacecraft and Space Descent VR. The Soyuz spacecraft will go on public display across the length and breadth of the British Isles, enhanced by Space Descent VR—a unique virtual reality adventure using Samsung Gear VR technology which places visitors right at the heart of Tim Peake’s journey from the International Space Station back to Earth.

The National Science and Media Museum in Bradford is the first stop on this inspirational journey, as the Soyuz goes on display from Wednesday 27 September to Sunday 19 November 2017, before landing in Shildon, York, Manchester, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast.

It’s the first time that a Science Museum Group object has ever undertaken such a comprehensive tour of the UK, and the venture has a unique twist as one more tour venue will be chosen via a public competition.

Any venue interested in being the sixth venue of the tour, in autumn 2018, can apply via an online competition form. The deadline for entries is 1 December 2017, and the winner will be announced in March 2018, after consideration by a panel including 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.

Tim Peake said:

“It is wonderful to be in Bradford for the start of another incredible journey for this spacecraft, which took me on a life-changing journey and delivered me safely back to Earth. I’m particularly happy that people up and down the UK now have the opportunity to discover more about my Principia mission and space travel, and that the Science Museum Group—with the support of Samsung—are doing so much to inspire the public and schools in this tour. I’d also urge anyone who wishes to see the capsule land near them to contact their local venues to apply to be the sixth destination.”

Russell Taylor, Chief Marketing Officer of Samsung Electronics UK and Ireland, said:

“Samsung has always had a passion for sparking curiosity and lifelong learning in everyone. Most of us have dreamed of going into space and it is our mission to bring that possibility to life. This national tour not only lets people see the Soyuz capsule up close, but the Space Descent VR gives them the most realistic experience there is.”

Ian Blatchford, Director of the Science Museum Group, said:

“This is the first time the Science Museum Group has toured one of its objects around the country, and what better object than the craft that brought Tim Peake safely back from space? I’m particularly pleased that this tour will reach every one of our museums between London and County Durham to inspire visitors of all ages to engage with the science of space exploration.”

Jo Quinton-Tulloch, Director of the National Science and Media Museum, said:

“This is another giant leap for us as we continue our journey to becoming one of the UK’s and world’s must-see museums. Having Tim Peake here to launch the Soyuz tour is extremely special. The Science Museum Group, Samsung and the European Space Agency have all collaborated to make something unique happen. I’d encourage people to come and see the Soyuz while they can—it’s a very significant piece of space history.”

Launching during the UK-Russia Year of Science and Education, The National Tour of Tim Peake’s Spacecraft celebrates the truly global effort behind modern space exploration. Manufactured by RSC Energia for ROSCOSMOS the Russian Space Agency, the Soyuz tells the story of the UK’s first European Space Agency astronaut’s journey to the International Space Station.

It was acquired for the nation by the Science Museum Group in December 2016 and is the first flown human rated spacecraft in the UK’s national space technology collection. Space Descent VR, the stunning virtual reality journey voiced by Tim Peake himself, will accompany the touring exhibition and enable people all over the UK to experience in first-person the high-speed descent to Earth from the International Space Station.

The full tour venues and dates are:

  • National Science and Media Museum, Bradford, 27 September – 19 November 2017
  • Locomotion, Shildon, 22 November 2017 – 15 January 2018
  • National Railway Museum, York, 17 January – 8 March 2018
  • Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester, 10 March – 13 May 2018
  • National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, May – August 2018
  • Competition winner venue TBC
  • National Museum Wales, Cardiff, November 2018 – January 2019
  • Ulster Museum, Belfast, February – May 2019

Tim Peake’s spacecraft—complete with its 25-metre parachute—is free to visit at all venues, and Space Descent VR with Tim Peake will be available to visitors aged 13 and over for £5/£6. The tour will be accompanied by an outreach programme to engage young people in schools with potential futures in STEM subjects.


Visitor information for Soyuz TMA-19M: Tim Peake’s Spacecraft

More information on the Soyuz UK tour and venue competition

Notes for editors

About the Science Museum Group

The Science Museum Group is the world’s leading family 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. We share the stories of innovations and people that shaped our world and are transforming the future, constantly reinterpreting our astonishingly diverse collection of 7.3 million items spanning science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine. Standout objects include the record-breaking locomotive Flying Scotsman, Richard Arkwright’s textile machinery, Alan Turing’s Pilot ACE computer and the earliest surviving recording of British television. Our mission is to inspire futures, igniting curiosity among people of all ages and backgrounds. Each year, our museums attract more than 600,000 visits by education groups, while our touring exhibition programme brings our creativity and scholarship to audiences across the globe.

About Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

Samsung inspires the world and shapes the future with transformative ideas and technologies. The company is redefining the worlds of TVs, smartphones, wearable devices, tablets, digital appliances, network systems, and memory, system LSI, foundry and LED solutions. For the latest news, visit the Samsung Newsroom.

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
  • The module weighs approximately 1.5 tonnes

Marking the 110th birthday of legendary Russian space chief Sergei Korolev and the the UK-Russia Year of Science and Education, the display of Soyuz TMA-19M celebrates the truly global effort behind space exploration today. Manufactured by RSC Energia for ROSCOSMOS the Russian Space Agency, the Soyuz tells the story of the UK’s first European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut’s journey to the International Space Station (ISS).

About Alchemy VR

Alchemy VR builds on the world class storytelling and technical innovation of Atlantic Productions to create some of the most compelling virtual reality experiences in the world. Alchemy VR’s combination of storytelling and pioneering use of new technologies has created unique and breathtaking experiences including David Attenborough’s First Life VR and David Attenborough’s Great Barrier Reef Dive VR. Alchemy VR’s experiences have shown in some of the world’s most prestigious cultural institutions and will be among the first virtual reality documentaries to launch on PlayStation VR. VR projects soon to be released by the studio include experiences that take you deep into the Amazon jungle, across the sands of the Arabian desert, and into the heart of Dubai.

Atlantic Productions was founded in 1992 and in this time has won many of the most prestigious awards in television, including the coveted BAFTA for Best Specialist Factual twice in the last four years (2014 and 2011), eleven Emmy awards, two RTS awards and the best 3D award at Jackson Hole and Wildscreen. Recent productions include Inside the Commons (BBC) and David Attenborough's Great Barrier Reef (BBC).