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UK tour of Tim Peake’s spacecraft reaches 1.3 million visitors

The astronaut’s capsule went on a 20-month tour of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales presented by Samsung and Science Museum Group.

Tim Peake joined the Science Museum Group today to announce that 1.3 million people have now visited the Soyuz spacecraft from his Principia mission during its 20-month tour of the UK. 

Peake announced the remarkable visitor figures which included 46,000 people who saw the capsule when it visited Locomotion in Shildon, County Durham, between November 2017 and January 2018.

The Soyuz tour was one of the museum’s most popular exhibitions since opening 15 years ago and visitors travelled from across the North East to catch a glimpse of Tim Peake’s Soyuz TMA-19M spacecraft.

The Soyuz capsule is the first flown human rated spacecraft in the Science Museum Group Collection. It returns to the Science Museum in London after touring museums in Bradford, Shildon, York, Manchester, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast on the National Tour of Tim Peake’s Spacecraft presented by Samsung and the Science Museum Group.

The news has been announced as Locomotion plans a series of events and activities over the summer to mark the museum’s 15th birthday which will culminate in a public event in September.

Dr Sarah Price, Head of Locomotion said: “I am delighted to be able to celebrate the final national visitor figures for the tour of Tim Peake’s spacecraft knowing that Locomotion and visitors from across the North East played a big part in helping to reach this figure. I would like to thank Samsung and my colleagues across the Group who made it possible for this fantastic exhibition to come to Shildon. Our visitors couldn’t believe that something that had actually been to space was here in our museum and it was one of our busiest ever exhibitions.”

An Education Outreach Programme, developed by the Science Museum Group and Samsung, reached more than 1,400 students in the North East with in-school sessions with SMG’s Explainer team, special visits to see the Soyuz capsule and a VR bus designed to replicate the setting of the International Space Station.

The exhibition was also accompanied by Space Descent VR, the stunning virtual-reality journey voiced by Tim Peake himself, which enabled people to experience in first-person the high-speed descent to Earth from the International Space Station. The VR experience was produced especially for the Science Museum Group, powered by the latest Samsung Gear VR technology.

Sir Ian Blatchford, Director, Science Museum Group said: “The tour of Tim Peake’s spacecraft to museums in all four corners of the UK has been a testament to the power of culture to inspire. With Russian, European and UK space ingenuity all contributing to the success of Tim’s mission, the importance of international collaboration in achieving progress for us all is more starkly obvious than ever.”

ESA Astronaut Tim Peake said: “I’m incredibly proud that over 1.3 million people across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have had the chance to get up close to my Soyuz spacecraft. It’s wonderful how the Science Museum Group and Samsung have come together through this tour to extend the Principia Mission’s impact in inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers.”


For more information please contact:

Simon Baylis
01904 686 299

Notes to Editors 

About the Science Museum Group

The Science Museum Group is the world’s leading alliance of science museums, welcoming over five million visitors each year to five sites: the Science Museum in London; the National Railway Museum in York; the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester; the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford; and Locomotion in Shildon. 

We share the stories of innovations and people that shaped our world and are transforming our futures, constantly reinterpreting our astonishingly diverse collection of 7.3 million items spanning science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine.

Our mission is to inspire futures—igniting curiosity among people of all ages and backgrounds. Each year, our museums attract more than 600,000 visits by education groups, while our touring exhibition programme and websites bring our creativity and scholarship to audiences across the globe.

About Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

Samsung inspires the world and shapes the future with transformative ideas and technologies. The company is redefining the worlds of TVs, smartphones, wearable devices, tablets, digital appliances, network systems, and memory, system LSI, foundry and LED solutions. For the latest news, please visit the Samsung Newsroom at

About the Soyuz TMA-19M descent module

Soyuz TMA-19M carried astronauts Yuri Malenchenko (Commander, Russia), Tim Kopra (Flight Engineer, USA) and Tim Peake (Flight Engineer, UK) to the International Space Station on 15 December 2015 and returned the same crew to Earth on 18 June 2016
The crew was part of Expeditions 46 and 47 to the International Space Station
The outer surfaces have been charred by temperatures of around 1,500 degrees Celsius experienced during atmospheric re-entry
The module weighs approximately 1.5 tonnes