Could Tim Peake’s spacecraft be about to land in Norwich?

Tim Peake with the Soyuz TMA-19M. Picture: SCIENCE MUSEUM GROUP

Tim Peake with the Soyuz TMA-19M. Picture: SCIENCE MUSEUM GROUP - Credit: Archant

It was the machine that helped propel astronaut Tim Peake into space for a groundbreaking and world-famous expedition.

Tim Peake's spacecraft. Picture: SCIENCE MUSEUM GROUP

Tim Peake's spacecraft. Picture: SCIENCE MUSEUM GROUP - Credit: Archant

And now the Soyuz TMA-19M spacecraft could be about to land in Norwich as the centrepiece of the city's Science Festival.

The event, planned for this year's October half-term, needs to defeat national competition first, as the capsule will only go on display at a certain number venues across the UK.

Today it has been announced that The Forum, where the science festival is held, is one of five shortlisted venues in the competition to host the spaceship and virtual reality adventure.

If successful, the Soyuz capsule will be the centrepiece of Norwich Science Festival 2018, which takes place during October half-term.

Natalie Bailey, producer of Norwich Science Festival, said: 'We are delighted to be shortlisted to host this inspiring part of space history.

'The tour fits perfectly with the aims of the festival and The Forum to engage and inspire young people in order to develop further interests in science. Fingers crossed!'

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The winning venue will be announced in March 2018, after consideration 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.

The Soyuz spacecraft was used for Tim Peake's Principia mission, and this 'first-of-its-kind' national tour aims to inspire future generations of space scientists across the country.

Space Descent VR, the stunning virtual reality journey voiced by Tim Peake himself, will accompany the touring exhibition and enable people all over the UK to experience in first-person the high-speed descent to Earth from the International Space Station.

Ian Blatchford, director of the Science Museum Group, said: 'This is the first time the Science Museum Group has toured one of its objects around the country, and what better object than the craft that brought Tim Peake safely back from space?'

The Norwich Science Festival will include a series of exhibitions, shows and hands-on science and engineering activities for all ages.

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