Lecture 1 – Lift off!

In the first of the three annual CHRISTMAS LECTURES space doctor, Kevin Fong, explores and probes second by second what it takes to ‘Lift off’ into space. With Tim Peake, Britain's first astronaut on the International Space Station, only days into his 6 month mission, he helps Kevin answer what keeps astronauts safe and on track as they're propelled into orbit.  

How do you control the energy of 300 tonnes of liquid fuel? What happens to your body if you don’t wear a spacesuit? And how do you catch up with a space station travelling at 17,500 mph to finally get inside? 

With explosive live experiments, guest astronauts in the Theatre and planetary scientist, Monica Grady, direct from the launch pad in Kazakhstan, learn this and more as we recreate those thrilling minutes of ‘Lift off’. 

Supported by


© Royal Institution / Windfall Films




Kevin Fong



All lectures in the series