Author: Chris Ryu

Atom Club founder Chris took a day out of the office this week to geek out at New Scientist Live. The 4 day festival at the London Excel Centre saw host to exhibitors such as the European Space Agency, Bloodhound (team going for the land speed record) and Tesla to name just a few.

Issued with a VIP wristband, I was able to see Major Tim Peake give an exclusive talk on his time in space. People often underestimate the amount of training that Astronauts undergo and public relations must be a big part of that as they all speak so well! I suppose nothing will boost your confidence more than being one of the 540(ish) people that have gone to space and seen the Earth from a unique perspective.

Tim shared stories from his training, the launch, funny anecdotes of what happened while on the ISS and how his recovery went – all fascinating stuff! I spend a lot of time reading, watching and listening to Space related news and I was surprised to hear stories I’d not heard before. Tim shared stories of the pranks played by fellow astronauts, from songs played at launch, to that great Ape Costume prank played by the amazing Scott Kelly.

We were fortunate enough to have some time for questions at the end. I was frantically waving my hand around, but sadly didn’t get picked. I took a brief video of Tim’s response to a young guest’s question, so have a look at that below.

Tim was swiftly escorted away by security, so my photos weren’t great but I was invited backstage to see him appear as a guest on BBC Radio 4’s Inside Science show. Turns out the room was where they hold the X-Factor auditions (or so I’m told). Despite having a podcast version, I realised that I’ve never listened to the show before and was really impressed – it’s now on the office playlist! The topic of discussion was “What’s left to explore” and host Adam Rutherford was joined by Helen Czerski (Oceanographer), Zita Martins (Astrobiologist) and of course Tim Peake.

Listen to the podcast here:

Other highlights of the event included meeting representatives of the European Space Agency, seeing the prototype of the next Mars Rover, seeing the Bloodhound candidate for world’s fastest car and of course some amazing talks.

For more information on New Scientist Live, check out their website – I hope to see some of you at next year’s event.

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