ExpeRience: A space odyssey

7.00pm to 10.00pm, Thursday 7 June

The Royal Institution of Great Britain GB United Kingdom W1S 4BS 21 Albemarle Street London

This event has already taken place

  • Abstract picture of space

    Explore space with us this June.

    Credit: tofoli.douglas via flickr cc 1.0
  • Drawing of a future space station that was done in the 1970s.

    How likely is it that we'll have humans living in space? 

    Credit: Rick Guidice via NASA Ames Research Center


Free to Ri Members and Patrons


Standard £16


Concession £10

Event description

ExpeRience the feeling of space exploration as we celebrate 50 years since the release of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Discover from an expert panel how AI can help us survive in space, whether we should advocate for research into cryonics and what it takes for humans to be isolated for such long periods of time.

You are then free to explore our astronaut training centre, filled with hands-on activities and science demos that include firing a carrot gun to experience the damage space junk can do, testing your ability to withstand g-force on our spinning chair and repairing damaged objects against the clock, while wearing oversized protective clothing.

Event times

Panel disussion: 7.00pm – 8.15pm

Hands-on activities, food and drink: 8.15pm – 10.00pm

You can download the event floorplan here

Free tickets are available to Members and Patrons of the Ri.

Attendees must be 18+.

Find out more about joining our community of supporters.

About the speakers

Professor Yang Gao is the Associate Dean (International) for Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences (FEPS) and the Professor of Space Autonomous Systems at Surrey Space Centre (SSC). She is also the Director of EPSRC/UKSA National Hub on Future AI & Robotics for Space (FAIR-SPACE) and Head of the SSC-STAR Lab which specializes in robotic sensing, perception, visual GNC and biomimetic mechanisms for industrial applications in the extreme environments.

João Pedro de Magalhães, Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease, University of Liverpool. He is a reader at the University of Liverpool and leads the Integrative Genomics of Ageing Group (http://pcwww.liv.ac.uk/~aging/). His lab primarily studies the ageing process and how we can manipulate it to fend off age-related diseases and improve human health. In addition, Dr de Magalhaes has a long-term interest in technological trends and their future impact on society. He has done work on the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (http://active-seti.info/) and in cryobiology.  Dr de Magalhaes coordinates the UK Cryonics and Cryopreservation Research Network (http://www.cryonics-research.org.uk/), which aims to advance research in cryopreservation and its applications.

Iya Whiteley is a Director of the Centre for Space Medicine at Mullard Space Science Laboratory, UCL. She is a Space Psychologist, who worked on developing Tim Peake's astronaut selection training programmes. Her ESA study on tools for Psychological Support (Moon and Mars exploration missions) was the first study commissioned in the UK on Human Space Flight since Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom stopped UK participation in HSF programmes. She has received the permission to make these reports public this year and they will come out this summer. She holds a Private Pilot licence, Rescue Scuba-Diver and has competitive Skydived internationally. 

Calum Hervieu is a space systems engineer with a focus on lunar exploration mission architectures. He holds a Master’s in Astrophysics from the University of Edinburgh and another, in Space Exploration Systems, from the Politecnico di Torino with the European Space Agency. During the latter, he specialised in utilising the Moon’s resources for future missions. Last year, as a trainee at the European Astronaut Centre, Calum was selected by NASA to serve as crew engineer for a Mars mission simulation in Hawaii. He is currently working at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope prior to the mission start.


Ri Patrons can book via Eventbrite or by emailing patrons@ri.ac.uk.

Ri Members can book their free tickets and members of the public can purchase tickets through Eventbrite.

Please note this event is open to over 18s only.

By booking to attend events at the Royal Institution, you confirm that you have read and agree to the Ri's event terms and conditions.

Food and drink

Tasty food and drink will be available for purchase at this event.

There will be complimentary food and drink for patrons.

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