The spacecraft which transported Tim Peake, the UK’s first European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut, to and from the International Space Station, will be landing at Locomotion, the National Railway Museum at Shildon on Tuesday 22 November 2017.

A landmark partnership between Samsung and the Science Museum Group, to create a national tour of Tim Peake’s spacecraft means the Soyuz TMA-19M capsule, complete with equipped interior and re-entry char marks on it outer body, will be on public display for two months along with its 25m diameter parachute.

The display of the iconic craft will be accompanied by an inspiring and immersive range of activities, including the Space Descent VR virtual reality experience, narrated by Tim Peake himself. This places the visitor inside the Soyuz TMA-19M to witness first-hand the incredible 250-mile journey back to earth from the International Space Station (ISS).

The VR imagery has been created 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.

Locomotion Museum Manager, Gary Campbell, said: “It’s hard to express how excited we are to be bringing the Soyuz capsule to Shildon. 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 Space Station and back.

“We hope our local 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.

Commenting on the acquisition, 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.”

Details of visiting arrangements and special events, including the Space Descent VR experience and activities over the festive season at Locomotion, the National Railway Museum at Shildon 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.

For more information, please contact Rebecca Fuller / 01904 686 271.