The day we met an astronaut - Tim Peake’s visit to Dynamic Earth

One of our visitor's shares her family's experience of a special day out - when they met Tim Peake at Dynamic Earth.


‘I’m just an ordinary person doing an extraordinary job’

Those are the words that will stick with us after a fantastic event at Dynamic Earth, getting up close with Tim Peake, a man who has been in space - real, actual, live SPACE!

Like lots of families, we followed Tim’s journey to space and back and it was wonderful to see our two kids - aged 10 and 7 - become engaged by such an educational, inspirational adventure happening in real life and in real time.

We’ve been following Dynamic Earth on Facebook for a while although, until last week, we hadn’t visited yet. So when I saw their update saying Tim was visiting, I rushed to the event page to buy tickets as it was perfect timing, right at the start of our October holiday week together.

We got to Dynamic Earth early and our seats were close to the front. We all enjoyed watching the footage from Tim’s Principia mission and answering the questions about the photos of Earth Tim had shared during his time on the International Space Station.

When Tim entered the room, instantly recognisable with his red hair and trademark blue boilersuit, the crowd welcomed him like he was a pop star, clapping and cheering. He always looks so cheerful and he waved to everyone - there were lots of photographers and reporters there to cover the event, he’s a real celebrity!

We watched a short film about the mission and then Professor Stuart Monro, one of the founders of Dynamic Earth, began asking Tim some of the questions posed by the audience.

He gave a wave and a hello to each of the people who had submitted the questions - what a thrill for the kids (and the big kids) - and did a great job of answering some tricky ones including ‘Are things still fizzy in space?’

Our kids were engaged the whole time Tim was speaking - and anyone who knows kids will know that’s no mean feat! Not only is he a hugely intelligent man with some truly fascinating stories to tell, he’s also a fantastic communicator, sharing his insights in a really engaging way.

We learned about the important work the astronauts carry out in order not only to advance space exploration, but also improve our lives on Earth too. Experiments on lung capacity and inflammation carried out by Tim and the team could lead to breakthroughs in asthma treatments, for example.

He might be a ‘spaceman’ but what really stood out for me was Tim’s passion for Earth - he really conveyed its beauty and fragility and how important it is to protect our blue planet. The perspective an astronaut has is like no other and I guess when you’ve seen how tiny Earth is in the universe, life here must seem even more precious than it did before.

After the question and answer session, we went upstairs to buy tickets for Dynamic Earth and we were lucky enough to see Tim coming through the foyer on his way to The Universe Is Your Oyster experience - perfect timing to have an astronaut in the building when you are hosting an event to inspire young people to study science!

He was so warm and friendly to everyone - and our two were lucky enough to get a high five from him. Those hands have been in space! Awesome.

There was a media frenzy as he was interviewed for This Morning and we nipped off to enjoy the tour through Dynamic Earth and learn more about how this wonderful world came into being, finishing off perfectly with the ShowDome film We Are Astronomers - learning even more about life in space.

Thanks Dynamic Earth for a wonderful, unforgettable day out, and thanks to Tim Peake for reinforcing an important message that, yes, even ‘ordinary’ people can do extraordinary things.

25 Oct 2016


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