UK astronaut Tim Peake KG5BVI / GB1SS should launch on a Soyuz to the International Space Station (ISS) at 1103UT on Tuesday from Baikonur in Kazakhstan.
Launch events are taking place at in Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London as well as at 17 Science and Discovery centres around the UK.
RSGB General Manager Graham Coomber G0NBI will represent the Society at the London Science Museum event and Region 8 (N.Ireland) Manager Philip Hosey MI0MSO will attend the W5 Interactive Science Centre in Belfast.
During his 6 month mission to the ISS, Tim will be undertaking a wide range of science experiments, some of which have been designed by students from around the UK. Additionally he has committed to take part in a large range of educational outreach activities with schools and colleges around the country.
A number of UK schools will have the opportunity to speak directly to Tim Peake during his mission using amateur radio. This will enable live interaction between pupils and Tim and is anticipated to be one of the highlights of the Principia STEM outreach programme. The pre-arranged schools contacts will take place between January and April 2016 and students will be able to put a number of questions directly to Tim using amateur radio equipment specially installed at the school for the occasion.
The ARISS team of licensed UK Radio Amateurs is planning a world first by also receiving live video from the ISS during the school contact. The HamTV transmitter has recently been commissioned on board the ISS, Tim will be the first astronaut to use this equipment during a two way schools contact.
BBC One will be televising the launch starting at 10.30 with a special one off Blast Off Live: A Stargazing Special programme presented by Professor Brian Cox and Dara Ó Briain from the Science Museum London. The hatch opening and Tim’s first moments on the International Space Station will be shown on BBC Two from 7pm.
Watch the launch on BBC One
or on NASA TV http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/
Find a launch event near you
UK Space Agency Principia site https://principia.org.uk/
UK students to have direct contact with astronaut Tim Peake KG5BVI during Principia mission