Monday 27 March 2017

Tim Peake to lead out-of-this-world Hogmanay celebration

Major Tim Peake is to deliver a New Year message to the Edinburgh's Hogmanay street party (PA/European Space Agency)
Major Tim Peake is to deliver a New Year message to the Edinburgh's Hogmanay street party (PA/European Space Agency)

A message from space will welcome in the New Year for revellers at Edinburgh's famous Hogmanay street party.

British astronaut Tim Peake will send the message from the International Space Station, beaming onto screens at the event just before midnight on Thursday.

As many as 75,000 revellers from more than 80 countries are expected to attend the street party, enjoying entertainment across four stages and seven screens along the length of Princes Street.

Peter Irvine, director of Edinburgh's Hogmanay, said: "This is a truly global event with revellers joining us from around the world. This year we've gone one better and will be visited from space."

Edinburgh's Hogmanay will be working with the Edinburgh International Science Festival, the UK Space Agency and the European Space Agency (ESA) to bring Major Peake's message to the masses.

Dr Simon Gage, director of the Edinburgh International Science Festival, said: "In the few hours that revellers enjoy the Edinburgh's Hogmanay street party, the International Space Station, travelling at five miles per second, will orbit the Earth three times.

"With UK astronaut Tim Peake aboard, 2016 will be a remarkable year for UK space science, with more for us all to follow and be inspired by."

Edinburgh's Hogmanay is produced by Unique Events on behalf of Edinburgh City Council and the events are estimated to bring the city of Edinburgh around £42 million.

Former Army Air Corps officer and helicopter test Major Peake, 43, is the first Briton aboard the space station and the first fully British professional astronaut employed by a space agency.

Major Peake was recruited and trained by the ESA.

The decision to send him into space came after the UK Government started to contribute funds to Esa's ISS operations in 2012.

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