Return to Earth / by David Mather

Tim Peakes return to Earth from the International Space Station (ISS) in June 2016 marked the beginning of the next phase of Tim's work as an ambassador inspiring children to consider careers in STEM roles. Major Peake undertook a tour (more info here) and has visited schools up and down the country. Now the vehicle which safely delivered Tim to these terrestrial parts is on display at the Science Museum in London - and is set to wow adults and children alike at the wonder of space travel.

Last weekend I went to the museum to see it for myself. The Soyuz TMA-19M has pride of place at the museum and was THE attraction that everyone wanted to see. The capsule is protected by a low level barrier but the view is unobstructed. You can see into the module through the glass over the hatch and wonder how three people can squeeze in!

Despite having lifted off in 2015 there was really no visible signs that it's design of the spacecraft had changed much since the first Russian space vehicles that were on display in the Cosmonauts: Birth of the Space Age exhibition which ran back in 2016. Also on display is the huge parachute which slowed the lander in its final moments of descent.

It was great to be able to see such a recent artefact of space exploration, its only 7 months ago that we saw TV news clips of its landing, and for free too. Tim Peake's craft can be seen in the Wellcome Wing of the Science Museum in London. Below is my small collection of photos from the exhibit.

You can see the descent of the landing module in this Nasa Youtube video.

Expedition 47 Commander Tim Kopra of NASA, Soyuz Commander Yuri Malenchenko of Roscosmos and Flight Engineer Tim Peake of ESA (European Space Agency) were greeted in a traditional ceremony in Kazakhstan June 18, a few hours after their safe return to Earth from a 186 day mission on the International Space Station.