Astronaut visit: When is Tim Peake arriving? How can you follow the action?

Tim Peake spent six months in space, flying up in a Soyuz TMA-19M rocket (right) in December 2015. Pictures: NASA
Tim Peake spent six months in space, flying up in a Soyuz TMA-19M rocket (right) in December 2015. Pictures: NASA

When is Tim Peake’s Freedom of the City ceremony? What’s should you do if you didn’t get tickets? Here’s what you need to know.

It’s T-minus three days until Chichester’s own astronaut, Tim Peake makes his grand return.

Tim Peake's view of the Sussex coast taken during his time on the International Space Station SUS-180216-120808001

Tim Peake's view of the Sussex coast taken during his time on the International Space Station SUS-180216-120808001

Missed out on tickets? Don’t worry. The Observer will be reporting the latest over the course of day.

What’s happening?

Astronaut Tim Peake will be given the rare honour of Freedom of the City at the Chichester Festival Theatre (CFT) on Sunday.

A CFT spokesman said: “Chichester City Council decided to confer the Honorary Freedom of the City on Tim Peake back in February 2016, when he was still in the middle of the ESA mission to the International Space Station.

Tim Peake (left) after landing safely back on Earth with fellow astronauts Yuri Malenchenko and Tim Kopra. Picture: NASA/Bill Ingalls

Tim Peake (left) after landing safely back on Earth with fellow astronauts Yuri Malenchenko and Tim Kopra. Picture: NASA/Bill Ingalls

“We’re very excited and honoured to be the venue for this historic occasion and pleased that over 1,000 members of the public will be able to witness it and hear Tim Peake’s fascinating account of the Principia Mission.”

Former army helicopter pilot Major Tim Peake spent six months on the International Space Station between December 2015 and June 2016.

During his time in space, Tim conducted a range of science experiments for researchers back on Earth.

What time does it start?

The ceremony will blast off at 2.30pm, with Chichester Mayor Peter Evans presenting Tim with Freedom of the City at the Chichester Festival Theatre. This is due to last about 30 minutes.

Following a 20-minute interval, Tim will talk to the 1,000 lucky ticket holders about his time on the International Space Station and take questions from young people in the audience.

Then at about 4.30pm Tim will move into the foyer to meet young people from Chichester High School and Westbourne Cubs and Scouts.

After his meet and greet with local schoolchildren the event is over and Tim is due to leave.

I couldn’t get tickets, what should I do?

Those who didn’t manage to grab tickets before they sold out in 11 minutes can follow the Observer’s coverage throughout the day.

Keep an eye on our website and Facebook pages for photos and stories from the event.

Also: Don’t forget to pick up the Observer newspaper next week for a special eight-page souvenir Tim Peake supplement.