Spacecraft could land at Peterborough Cathedral for out of this world exhibition

Tim Peake with the Soyuz craft which took him to space and back
Tim Peake with the Soyuz craft which took him to space and back
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Peterborough Cathedral could host an exhibition that is truly out of this world later this year.

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 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.”

The Soyuz craft

The Soyuz craft

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 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.

For more information about the spacecraft tour visit sciencemuseum.org.uk or follow the story on social media #SoyuzTour.