The UK has bought the capsule which took Tim Peake into space and returned him to Earth!
The Capsule will go on display at the Science Museum in London early next year (2017)!
The Russian Soyuz TMA-19M craft has been refurbished, but is still slightly singed from re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere.
Major Peake told BBC News that he was “absolutely delighted” to hear his spacecraft would be brought to the UK.
“Hopefully it may act as an inspiration for the next generation of scientists and engineers” he said.
The Soyuz spacecraft is designed to protect the crew from these harsh conditions.
So you get very attached to your spacecraft because it definitely does save your life.”
Britain’s first astronaut, Helen Sharman, said she hoped the acquisition would have an inspirational effect.
“I think it is a tremendous thing to have Tim’s capsule. Not just a Soyuz capsule – but it is Tim’s. The fact that we know that our astronaut was actually inside it – he physically sweated inside that suit, he looked outside of that window and saw what it was like to re-enter Earth’s atmosphere – it really provides us with the link to our own astronauts,” she told BBC News.
The space suit used by Helen Sharman on her mission to the Mir space station in 1991 is on display at the Science Museum.
She said that it was important to have real artefacts that had actually been in orbit for people in the UK to view.
“Even now, 25 years after my space flight, people want to touch me even though every cell in body has probably regenerated” she said.
“It is really significant (having Tim’s Soyuz in the UK). It is not a mock up, it is not a simulator, it is not someone else’s Soyuz. The fact that our own astronaut actually did things inside provides us with a connection to human spaceflight.
“It might only be psychological as it will look very similar to other Soyuz spacecrafts that have actually re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere, but it’s not – this is Tim’s.”
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