This summer’s Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford will be turning the spotlight on space flight - to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first manned moon landing.
The show, running from July 19-21, is adopting the theme: Air & Space: Inspiring The Next Generation Air Force. And British astronaut Major Tim Peake will be among invited guests on Friday, July 19.
As well as opportunities to view examples of commercial space rockets currently being developed in the UK, visitors will be able to see an ExoMars rover prototype in action as well as talk to the scientists and engineers responsible for operating it, thanks to Airbus Defence & Space.
Visitors on the Friday will also find themselves under the ‘microscope’ as Airbus DS’s Pleiades satellite flies over RAF Fairford taking a photo of the airshow as it orbits the earth.
Air Tattoo Chief Executive Andy Armstrong said: “In the past the airshow’s seen USAF U-2 aircraft that touch the edge of space but now we’ll be looking to feature craft that go beyond Earth’s atmosphere. We’re still adding space attractions and hope to announce more astronauts before July’s airshow - it’s truly exciting. We’re particularly honoured to welcome Tim Peake who will be engaging with our young visitors on the Friday. Without doubt he’ll be a huge inspiration to all the engineers, pilots and, yes, astronauts of the future!”
RAF Fairford, which is celebrating its 75thanniversary this year, was NASA’s only UK transatlantic abort landing site for the Space Shuttle and in 1983 hosted a visit by the spacecraft which was secured on the back of a jumbo jet bound for the Paris Air Show.