Peterborough Cathedral will find out today if it will be the landing site for a spaceship.
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 to the International Space Station.
The Cathedral entered a public competition to become the sixth venue on the spacecraft’s tour, bidding to host the show during autumn 2018.
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.”
The shortlist of other potential venues includes Millennium Point, Birmingham, The Forum, Norwich, TR2, Plymouth and Worcester Cathedral.
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 announcement on which venue has been selected is expected to be made this evening.