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UK Principia Mission Launch Edinburgh

On Tuesday 15 December, Scotland marked British ESA Astronaut’s Tim Peake’s mission to the International Space Station with European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti who was visiting Edinburgh.

In partnership with the Edinburgh International Science Festival, European Space Agency and the UK Space Agency, Scotland’s launch event included a launch screening and space activities for over 200 invited school learners from P1-P7 at Our Dynamic Earth and the National Museum of Scotland.

Principia Mission Launch

Tim Peake launched from Baikonur in Kazakhstan in a Soyuz rocket to the International Space Station at around 11:00am UK time.  The UK is backing its first ESA astronaut as he heads off to the International Space Station. Edin Rep-EdinSciFest-2
Tim was selected from a pool of 8,000 applicants, years of dedication and training as a military helicpter test pilot have paved the way for him to become one of the next of the great British explorers.

Tim is an inspirational role model for young people across the UK – Space constitutes an important means of engaging children with STEM subjects. His mission will hopefully, encourage children to aspire to new heights.

UK business is well represented in space. The UK space industry contributes £11.8 billion to the UK economy and is continuing to grow. It currently employs more than 37,000 people in the UK and hopes to create 100,000 new jobs by 2030.
The sector offers careers for engineers, researchers, software designers and many more. Everyone can get involved at this historic moment, bringing the country together to celebrate Tim’s mission.

Samantha Cristoforetti

Edin Rep-EdinSciFest-4Samantha Cristoforetti is a European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut of Italian nationality. Between November 2014 and June 2015 she spent 199 days on board the International Space Station as a Flight Engineer for Expedition 42 and 43. During ASI’s Futura Mission, Samantha conducted experiments in the Station’s laboratories. Samantha is a Captain in the Italian Air Force.

Cristoforetti holds the records for longest single space flight by a woman (199 days 16 hours) and for the longest uninterrupted spaceflight of a European astronaut, as well as being the first Italian woman in space. On a slightly less scientific front, she is also known as the first person to have brewed an espresso coffee in space.