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N° 40–2015: Call for Media: Opportunity to talk to astronaut Tim Peake before he sets off for space

2 November 2015

On 6 November, ESA’s first British astronaut, Tim Peake, will be paying his last visit to the UK before his launch to the International Space Station. He will take part in a news conference at the Science Museum London to discuss his upcoming mission.

Together with Jo Johnson, UK Minister of State for Universities and Science, Thomas Reiter, ESA’s Director of Human Spaceflight and Operations, and David Parker, CEO of the UK Space Agency, Tim will talk with journalists about his training, and the science and education objectives of his mission. While in space, Tim will perform more than 30 experiments for ESA and its Member States and take part in numerous others from ESA’s international partners.

Tim’s mission is ESA’s eighth long-duration mission to the Space Station. It will start aboard a Soyuz spacecraft launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on 15 December. Together with NASA astronaut Tim Kopra and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko, Tim will embark on a six-month stay in space.

The mission is named Principia, after Isaac Newton’s ground-breaking Naturalis Principia Mathematica, which describes the principal laws of motion and gravity. 

ESA and the UK Space Agency are together developing many exciting educational activities aimed at sparking the interest of young children in science and space, including Rocket Science, AstroPi, Zero Robotics, Mission-X Train like an Astronaut, and amateur radio contact in space.

Programme (all times in GMT)

Friday, 6 November 2015

Science Museum

Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London SW7 2DD

08:45–09:30   Registration

09:40–10:10   Speakers:

  • David Parker, CEO, UK Space Agency
  • Jo Johnson, UK Minister for Universities and Science
  • Thomas Reiter, ESA Director of Human Spaceflight and Operations/ESA Astronaut
  • Tim Peake, ESA Astronaut

10:10–10:35   Q&A

10:45–12:10   Interview opportunities for broadcast media



To register for the media conference, please email:


Julia Short, UK Space Agency

Tel: +44 (0)1793 418 069

Mob: +44 (0)7770 276 721

Lorraine Conroy, European Space Agency

Tel: +31 715 653 408

Mob: +31 631 694 580



Education programme

The UK Space Agency is investing more than £1.5 million in education and outreach projects that harness the inspirational power of Tim’s mission. The wide array of projects, in partnership with ESA, will allow him to share his mission with the children of the UK, bringing the excitement of space to classrooms and venues across the country and encouraging interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematical subjects.

From space experiments to family shows, a wide variety of exciting projects and activities can be found on the UK Space Agency’s Principia website as well as on the ESA Kids site at

Launch day

Tim will be launched in a Soyuz spacecraft from Baikonur, Kazakhstan at 11:02 GMT on 15 December 2015. Soyuz separation is expected at 11:13 GMT, Space Station docking at 16:58 GMT and hatch opening at 18:33 GMT.

In the UK, the UK Space Agency is coordinating four major launch events in each of the nation’s capitals and smaller events across the country, with ESA participation. More details will be provided at the press conference.

About the European Space Agency

The European Space Agency (ESA) provides Europe’s gateway to space.

ESA is an intergovernmental organisation, created in 1975, with the mission to shape the development of Europe's space capability and ensure that investment in space delivers benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.

ESA has 21 Member States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, of whom 19 are Member States of the EU.

One other Member State of the EU, Hungary, has signed the Accession Agreement to the ESA Convention and, upon ratification, will soon become the 22nd ESA Member State.

ESA has established formal cooperation with seven other Member States of the EU.

Canada takes part in some ESA programmes under a Cooperation Agreement.

ESA is also working with the EU on implementing the Galileo and Copernicus programmes.

By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, ESA can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country.

ESA develops the launchers, spacecraft and ground facilities needed to keep Europe at the forefront of global space activities.

Today, it develops and launches satellites for Earth observation, navigation, telecommunications and astronomy, sends probes to the far reaches of the Solar System and cooperates in the human exploration of space.

Learn more about ESA at


For further information, please contact:
ESA Media Relations Office
Tel: +33 1 53 69 72 99