Tim Peake's spaceship sparks Peterborough Cathedral visitor rush

Visitors to Peterborough Cathedral have rocketed since Tim Peake's spaceship landed last month.

Sunday, 16th September 2018, 4:00 pm
Tim Peake space capsule at Peterborough Cathedral EMN-181108-162320009

The Soyuz capsule which took the British astronaut to the International Space Station and back down to Earth was installed in the cathedral on Saturday, August 11.

Since then more than 58,000 people have visited the cathedral and the free exhibition - an increase of more than 600 per cent on the same time period last year.

The capsule will remain at the cathedral until November 5 - and hundreds of school children from across the East of England are expected to visit in the next two months.

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Along with the spaceship itself, the huge parachute which brought it slowly back to Earth, and Tim Peake’s space suit, are also on display.

Visitors can also find out what a descent in the Soyuz capsule is really like in a virtual reality experience, and a special Soyuz Shop is open during the visit.

A team of 50 volunteers are helping the visitors at the Cathedral while the exhibition is in place.

Vice Dean Canon Tim Alban Jones, said he was delighted with the reaction from visitors.

He said: “We have been delighted by the phenomenal visitor response to Tim Peake’s Spacecraft exhibition.

“Most visitors are seeing the capsule and the cathedral for the first time, and it’s wonderful to see their reaction to both.”

The exhibition has proved so popular with schools, that there are no more spaces available for class visits.

Around 40 schools - with a total of about 1,400 pupils from Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire - have booked trips.

More visitors are also expected in the Cathedral in October, when The Museum of the Moon is being held.

The Museum of the Moon will see a giant model of the moon installed at the Cathedral. The moon will measure 7m in diameter, and features NASA images of the surface.

It is part of a national touring installation from UK artist Luke Jerram.

The moon will be in place from Friday, October 5 to Sunday, October 14, and a range of special activities - including a silent disco will be taking place during the installation.

There are also a series of talks around astronomy and astronomers planned while the capsule is in place.

For more information about the events at the Cathedral over the next two months visit www.peterborough-cathedral.org.uk