Thursday 3 December 2015


I am a massive space geek. I wanted to be an astronaut when I was younger - I used to dream of going to space camp, I had a telescope and would stay up late to look at stars, and I was over the moon when my family went to Johnson Space Centre and I got to look at ACTUAL moon rock and speak to ACTUAL astronauts (so cool).

Now I'm 29 years old, and I still want to be an astronaut. Over the years it's slowly dawned on me that it probably won't happen - I am rubbish at maths and physics, and I'm unlikely to pass a fit for orbit test any time soon, but the joy of working at the Science Festival means that occasionally I get to take part in spacey things in a professional capacity. That's basically the same thing, right?!

As you may or may not know, this month is a pretty big deal for the UK and European Space Agencies. Tim Peake, a British Astronaut, is off to the International Space Station as part of the Principia mission on December 15th, where he'll be in space for over six months, doing cool experiments and other very exciting (and presumably, insanely dangerous) stuff.

To celebrate the mission launch, the UK Space Agency are throwing a bunch of space celebrations across the country, and we're throwing the one in Edinburgh!

In partnership with the UK Space Agency and the Edinburgh International Film Festival, the Edinburgh International Science Festival is hosting a Big Screen Space Night in the Grand Gallery of the National Museum of Scotland on Tuesday December 15th.

The night starts at 6.30pm with a live link up to the Space Station, as the hatch opens and Tim starts his six month tour. Then Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti (aka the super-cool astronaut who dressed up in a Star Trek uniform on the actual Space Station) will take part in an audience Q&A, and THEN there's a special screening of The Martian which is this year's best space movie (featuring a very charming, bit sweary Matt Damon, and Troye from Community being the cutest astrophysics student there is). AND there's a space bar, and the Grand Gallery of the Museum is possibly the fanciest place you could ever watch a movie.

Tickets are only £5, and can be purchased via the Filmhouse website or from the Filmhouse box office (on Lothian Road). So exciting!

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