The Science Museum has acquired the space capsule in which Tim Peake travelled to and from the International Space Station.
With the craft’s descent module set to go on display in the museum from 2017, we’ve rounded up five facts about the storied craft.
1. It’s powered by teeth whitener. Kinda.
The descent modules’ eight thrusters control the craft’s orientation and altitude during the descent, until the parachute works its magic. They are powered by hydrogen peroxide, which is commonly used as an ingredient in teeth whiteners.
2. It has a periscope.
The descent module is the part that the astronauts sit in for launch, re-entry and landing. It comes with a periscope to enable the crew to view the docking target or the Earth below, NASA explains.
3. Only the descent module survives the return to Earth.
Both the orbital module and instrumentation/propulsion module burn up in atmosphere upon re-entry.
4. It’s been refurbished, but it’s still a little singed.
Soyuz has had some serious love and attention since it re-entered Earth’s atmosphere in June, but it’s still a little worse for wear. That all adds to the charm though, right?
4. It’s only a little larger than most cars, but it weights nearly three tonnes.
The capsule has a habitable volume of 141 cubic feet and can host just three astronauts, but at 2,899kg it weighs nearly twice as much as normal cars.
Tim Peake says he’s “absolutely delighted” the craft is coming to the UK. We’ll be queuing up to see it.
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