Monday, August 21, 2017 - 15:30

Visitors to Journey Into Space at the Eden Project will have a chance to meet an ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut and veteran of two space missions this summer.

Pedro Duque was the first Spanish citizen to go into space as a mission specialist aboard the Discovery shuttle on STS-95 which launched from Kennedy Space Centre, Florida, in 1998.

He went into orbit again in 2003 as flight engineer aboard the Soyuz TMA vessel during the Cervantes mission on the International Space Station.

Now head of flight operations at the European Space Agency near Munich, Germany, Pedro will visit Eden on August 29 to give two talks about his journeys into space.

The sessions at 12.45pm and 3.15pm in the Mediterranean Biome are part of the Meet the Space Experts programme featuring a range of space enthusiasts including representatives from the National Space Academy, Royal Observatory, Greenwich, European Space Agency and Roseland Observatory.

Chris Pritchard, Eden’s programme producer, said: “Visitors can hear about space travel first-hand from an astronaut who has gone into orbit twice. We’re so excited and honoured to welcome Pedro Duque to our Journey Into Space programme.”

Pedro’s first space mission was dedicated to research in weightlessness and the study of the sun and he was responsible for the Discovery Shuttle’s computer system.

During his second spaceflight Pedro ran extensive experiments on earth observation and microgravity.

He is joining other space experts at Eden this summer including Maddie Moate, children's presenter of Cbeebies’ Do You Know?, who will explain how rockets and robotics work in her session Maddie’s Mission to Mars on September 2 and 3.

Another highlight will be medical doctor Beth Healey who will tell how she spent a year completing research on the European Space Agency’s remote Concordia Station at Antarctica, known as ‘White Mars’, on August 28 and 29.

And astrophysics senior lecturer Nathan Mayne from Exeter University will reveal how cutting edge research may one day answer the question of whether we are alone in the galaxy on August 24 and 25.

All of the Meet the Expert talks are included in admission and there is no need to book. More details are listed at

Other Journey Into Space activities include the immersive interplanetary tour the Solar System Safari, the Astronaut Academy and a space-themed exhibit by Renault.

See full details of ticket prices on


*****Media are invited to meet Pedro Duque at the Eden Project from 10am to midday on Tuesday, August 29. Please contact the Media Team on 01726 811957 or 01726 818766 to confirm attendance.*****