When someone British does anything of importance that we aren't normally known to do, the country tends to go a bit nuts. Like when Andy Murray won Wimbledon, or Tim Peake flew off to the ISS for a visit. That last one is quite relevant today, because it's been announced that the Soyuz capsule Peake used to reach the ISS is going to tour the UK.
The tour is a partnership between The Science Museum Group and Samsung, letting visitors come and gawp at Peake's capsule and the 25ft parachute used to slow its descent. Visitors will also be able to strap on a VR headset and experience the journey back down to Earth with Samsung's Space Descent VR - an experience narrated by Peake himself.
The first port of call is the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford, with the exhibition starting tomorrow (27th September) and running until 19th November. After that date the exhibit will go to seven other venues across the country, with the 6th being chosen by a what's being referred to as a competition. It's sounds more an application, but whatever.
Any venue interested in hosting the exhibit next autumn will be able to fill in a form at group.sciencemuseum.org.uk, with the deadline on 1st December 2017. The winner will be announced next March, after a panel of judges determines which venue is most suitable. Here's the full schedule:
- 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 Scotland, Edinburgh | May – August 2018
- Competition winner venue | Dates TBC
- National Museum Wales, Cardiff | November 2018 – January 2019
- National Museum Ulster, Belfast | February – May 2019
It seems strange that London's Science Museum isn't on that list, presumably it'll wind up there at some point.
Soyuz TMA-19M, the capsule that transported Peake too and from the ISS, was acquired by the Science Museum Group last December and is the first flown human rated spacecraft in the UK’s national space technology collection. The exhibition itself is free, with Space Descent VR costing £5-£6 per person. Since it's VR, the experience is only open to visitors over 13 years of age.