Tim Peake's spacecraft to land in Shildon
The spacecraft which transported Tim Peake - the UK's first European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut - to and from the International Space Station (ISS) will be landing in Locomotion at Shildon on Wednesday, 22 November 2017, staying at the museum until 15 January 2018.
This is the first time the spacecraft will visit the North East, giving visitors to Locomotion a once-in-a-lifetime chance to view the capsule.
This landmark partnership between Samsung and the Science Museum Group has created a national tour of Tim Peake's spacecraft Soyuz TMA-19M capsule, complete with equipped interior and re-entry char marks on its outer body. The capsule will be on public display for two months along with its 25metre diameter parachute.
The display of the spacecraft will be accompanied by an inspiring and immersive range of activities, including the Space Descent virtual reality experience, narrated by Tim Peake himself. This simulates the experience inside the Soyuz capsule on its incredible 250-mile journey back to Earth from the ISS.
The VR experience has been produced especially for the Science Museum Group, and is supported by Samsung with the provision of the latest Samsung Gear VR headsets and a bespoke VR lounge inside the museum.
Gary Campbell, Locomotion museum manager, said: "It's hard to express how excited we are to be bringing Tim Peake's Spacecraft to Locomotion. The capsule represents one of history's most incredible technological feats, and this is an unmissable opportunity for visitors young and old from across the North East to see the craft that took Tim Peake all the way to the International Space Station and back. We hope our residents and future visitors enjoy this unique experience and pay Soyuz a visit."
Soyuz TMA-19M carried Peake and crewmates Yuri Malenchenko and Tim Kopra in ESA Expedition 46/47 to the ISS on 15 December 2015, returning on 18 June 2016. It was acquired last year by the Science Museum Group.
ESA astronaut Tim Peake said: "You do become very attached to your spacecraft because it definitely does save your life. I'm absolutely delighted that my Soyuz spacecraft, the TMA-19M, is going to be returning here to the UK and may serve, hopefully, as inspiration for our next generation of scientists and engineers."
Cllr Simon Henig, Leader of Durham County Council, said: "It is a real privilege to have Soyuz on display here in County Durham. Tim Peake's trip to the International Space Station captured the attention of the nation and I'm sure people will be equally fascinated to see his spacecraft up close.
"The chance to see Soyuz, coupled with the all of the other activities taking place, promises a fantastic experience for visitors to Locomotion."
Details of visiting arrangements and special events, including the Space Descent VR experience and activities over the festive season at Locomotion will be announced at a later date (charge and conditions apply to Space Descent VR).
Space Descent VR with Tim Peake has been made possible with support from Samsung and the generous co-operation of Tim Peake and the European Space Agency.
Please note the museum will open at 1pm on Tuesday 22nd November.
For more information, visit Locomotion - Soyuz