Birmingham’s Millennium Point has been shortlisted to host British astronaut Tim Peake’s spacecraft as part of its next journey.
The Science Museum Group and Samsung came together to create The National Tour of Tim Peake’s Spacecraft and Space Descent VR, announced in September last year.
The shortlist of five venues was announced last week by Ian Blatchford, Director of the Science Museum Group.
The national tour of the Soyuz TMA-19M, used for the Principia mission, will inspire a new generation as it travels around the country to help tell the story of Tim’s journey into space as the first European Space Agency astronaut to travel to the International Space Station.
A competition was launched to choose one more venue to host the Soyuz as part of the tour in autumn 2018, amidst scheduled displays at museums in Bradford, Shildon, York, Manchester, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast.
The Soyuz spacecraft – which weighs approximately 1.5 tonnes – will be combined with accompanying Space Descent VR, a virtual reality adventure voiced by Tim Peake himself, which enables visitors to experience the journey from the International Space Station back down to Earth.
Judith Armstrong, CEO of Millennium Point, said: “We were thrilled to hear we’d been shortlisted and are now very much hoping to make it as the chosen venue for the next step on the Soyuz tour. To be able to inspire the next generation of would-be scientists, astronauts and indeed anyone who fancies a trip in a spacecraft would be our privilege.
“Our fingers are crossed that the judging panel see us as the right choice. We hope to host the capsule in our five-storey atrium, and ThinkTank science museum here onsite would make the perfect partner. The fact that one of the tour’s aims is to engage young people in schools with potential futures in STEM subjects is absolutely in keeping with our mission here at Millennium Point.”
The winner of the competition will be announced on 9th March 2018 at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, after judging has been completed by a panel including Science Museum Group Director Ian Blatchford, the UK Space Agency’s Human Spaceflight Manager Libby Jackson, Samsung’s James Eadie and Magali Vaissiere, Director of the European Centre for Space Applications and Telecommunications.