First British astronaut, Helen Sharman, to walk on the moon at Lichfield Cathedral
Published on: Thu, 25/07/2019 - 16:15
She was the first British astronaut in space in 1991 but this summer, Helen Sharman will finally walk on the moon......at Lichfield Cathedral.
Helen will be the special guest speaker at The Great Exhibition 2019: Space, God the Universe and Everything! – an immersive sound and light art installation centred on the moon floor artwork which has transformed the nave of Lichfield Cathedral into a lunar landscape to mark the 50th anniversary of the first Moon Landing.
To mark this final event of The Great Exhibition 2019, Lichfield Cathedral has launched a special competition for children aged 8 to 16 called Ask an Astronaut.
The top ten winning questions will win a free ticket for themselves and one adult to the show, followed by a private reception with Helen over tea and cake.
Helen was working as a research chemist in a chocolate factory when she heard a radio advert to send a British person to the Russian space station, Mir.
It said “Astronaut wanted, no experience necessary”.
Helen was one of 13,000 people who applied. She didn’t expect to be chosen, but she was selected, and began 18 months of training at Star City, near Moscow. Aged 27, her eight-day mission saw her join the Soviet crew on Mir and her time as a research cosmonaut was mainly spent carrying out experiments, along with the experience of living on a space station.
Helen will be sharing her experiences as an astronaut and the wonder of the Universe on the final day of The Great Exhibition on Monday 26 August - the last day of a summer of creativity at Lichfield Cathedral inspired by the Moon Landing Anniversary.
Vicky Osborn, senior marketing manager at Lichfield Cathedral said: “Lichfield Cathedral is such an exciting place to be this summer with our epic, space-themed art installations and activities.
“We want to take our visitors on a journey through space, light and time and we are really proud to be able to announce Helen Sharman as the final act.
“Helen is such an inspiration to generations of budding explorers and we can’t wait to hear her experiences of space travel.
“We’re also really excited to discover what questions our younger visitors would like to ask an astronaut as part of our competition,” she added.
This summer the Cathedral Nave has been transformed into the lunar landscape by Artist, Peter Walker. Called One Small Step, visitors can walk on the moon. There will be a film festival watched from the moon floor during August, a schools project including sessions with God and the Big Bang team, before The Great Exhibition: Space, God, The Universe and Everything opens on August 8.
With the moon floor as its centrepiece, The Great Exhibition 2019, by Artist Peter Walker in collaboration with Luxmuralis, will explore the human instinct to travel, explore and discover. Over 13 nights, an immersive light and sound experience will take visitors back to creation in Genesis and forward through space exploration and travel to Mars and the discoveries of the past 50 years. Visitors can watch a broadcast of the moon landing from a 1960s sitting room and hear an authorised account of the event from NASA.
Tamworth-based adhesives company Apollo is supporting the event. Jon Saunders, Chairman of the family-owned business, explained: “We are delighted to be supporting an opportunity for people in Staffordshire to hear directly from Helen Sharman, the first British person to go to space. Our company name was inspired by the NASA Space Program and that same spirit of exploration.
“Helen has inspired countless young people to pursue opportunities in science. We are always looking for potential pioneers to join us at Apollo and hope that this event will encourage young people across the region to consider careers in science and engineering,” he added.
Ask an Astronaut competition for 8-16 year olds
Email your questions to email@example.com
Deadline 5pm on Monday 19 August
Ten winners will each receive 2 tickets for Helen Sharman show, plus private reception with her afterwards.
The Great Exhibition runs from Thursday to Sundays during August including August 8, 9, 10, 11, 15,
16, 17, 18, 22, 23, 24 25 and Bank Holiday Monday 26 from 1900 to 2200. It includes One Small Step moon floor experience. Tickets are available in 20 minute time slots with entry to the cathedral at the allotted ticket time.
Tickets are £5 or £4 for children and £16 for a family (two adults, two children)
available from the Cathedral Gift Shop , The Gift Area or http://www.lichfield-cathedral.org/space
Helen Sharman in the Cathedral 3pm – 5pm
Mon 26 August
Tickets on sale here http://www.lichfield-cathedral.org/helensharmanpriced from £10 - £20.