Cambridge Science Centre


Cambridge families flock to science centre to watch Tim Peake blast off to the space station

Written on 16 Dec 2015 in Press Mentions

That was the hope at the Cambridge Science Centre today, where local families were invited to learn more about the wonders of space travel, before watching the Chichester-born astronaut's live take-off.

Clare Green, the centre's communications manager, told the News: "Having the experience with other families in the room brought it to life; we had out resident rocket scientist Jon London doing a Q+A and he was able to break down what was happening.

"There was a lovely discussion about how Tim doesn't get sick up there, and questions about how he eats and how he pees on the space station."

Before the live take-off the centre hosted a series of hands-on workshops, including the chance to learn more about the team who helped put Britain's first 'official' astronaut on board the International Space Station.

Mrs Green said: "We had a dress-up box where people could dress as doctors and engineers, as well as the astronauts.

"We are trying to inspire all of the different careers in space science, as there are thousands and thousands of people who have helped Tim in his training, and will continue to help him now he's up there.

"Everyone was really excited, and said they were inspired to know more about space. There could definitely have been a future astronaut in the room."

Major Peake blasted into orbit on board the Soyuz space capsule from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, for a six-month stint on board the ISS.

Once there he will conduct an array of experiments, including work with two Raspberry Pi computers developed in Cambridge.

The credit card-sized computers, which were launched to the station last week, were created and coded by schoolchildren, including Kieran Wand, a Year 10 pupil at Cottenham Village College.

In his final message to his followers on Twitter, Major Peake said: ''Last tweet before launch - GO for flight! Thanks for all the good luck messages - phenomenal support!''

And the UK Space Agency tweeted pictures of the astronaut signing a door and receiving a blessing before the crew suited up and prepared to board the spaceship.

Major Peake is the first Briton to join the crew of the ISS and is employed by the European Space Agency (Esa).

He will spend just under six months on the station, travelling there with two crewmates, Nasa astronaut Tim Kopra and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko.

The mission is named Principia, in homage to Cambridge scientist Sir Isaac Newton's ground-breaking text setting out the laws of motion and gravity.

The Cambridge Science Centre is open from 10am to 5pm every day through the Christmas break, except Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

For more about its regular programme of events, workshops and talks, see here.

Source: Cambridge News Online