It’s a year since astronaut Tim Peake began his space adventure.
So it’s fitting that today an exhibition in his honour opens in Chichester.
The exhibition at the Novium Museum has been created over the past six months to give visitors a chance to experience Tim’s astronomical adventure, from growing up in the city to becoming the first European Space Agency astronaut from Britain.
Novium manager Cathy Hawkes said: ‘About a year ago we were all inspired when Tim blasted off to space and he has achieved extraordinary things in that time.
‘We have been working with Tim’s dad Nigel and the Space Agency – they have been so supportive.
‘I hope people can come and really enjoy it.’
A visit to the intergalactic exhibition will begin by stepping into the museum lift, which has been transformed into a Soyuz rocket, before blasting off into the museum’s ‘outer space’ level.
It makes you realise you can come from anywhere and do something amazingWilliam Stephens
Once in the exhibition, members of the public can learn about the rocket’s take-off and landing, and even watch the moment Tim took off into space. They can also find out what it is like to live in space, including the food, sleeping arrangements and exercising in the International Space Station.
Nigel Peake said: ‘We remember when he first called us to say he had applied to be an astronaut, and over a year’s selection process he got down to the final 10.
‘Then one day he was told he had to go to Paris and the rest is history.’
Nigel continued: ‘Looking round this magnificent exhibition, we know how much hard work has gone into it. From my point of view it has been great fun, and to get the spacesuit Tim wore is amazing.’
Since landing back on earth, Tim has been all over the country, including Portsmouth to receive an honorary degree from the university.
Nigel added: ‘We know Tim’s delighted with the exhibition and he has been coming up with ideas for it along the way.
‘He cannot wait to come here and see it for himself, but unfortunately at this time his schedule won’t allow it.’
Students from Tim’s former school, Chichester High, were impressed with the interactive display at the museum, and talked of how they had been inspired.
William Stephens, who is in the army section of the combined cadet force at the school, said: ‘The biggest inspiration is the realisation that someone can come from a normal school and become something as incredible as an astronaut.
‘It makes you realise you can come from anywhere and do something amazing.’