Helen Sharman to appear at bluedot 2019
Bluedot 2019 will mark 50 years since the Apollo 11 Moonlanding, with a lineup headed by the UK's first astronaut Helen Sharman.
The UK's first astronaut Helen Sharman is to appear at this year's bluedot festival at Jodrell Bank Observatory. Bluedot is an annual music and science festival held at the observatory every summer, deep in the Cheshire countryside.
This year the festival runs from 18-21 July and its science programme will be centred around the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moonlanding.
Dr Helen Sharman became the first woman to visit the Russian Mir space station during her flight into space, which launch on 18 May 1991.
She will be appearing at this year's bluedot as part of the science lineup.
- Read our interview with Helen Sharman.
Other speakers include James Burke, who was the BBC's anchor for live coverage of the Apollo 11 moonlanding in 1969, and the UK Space Agency's Libby Jackson.
Dr Katherine Joy, Dr Simeon Barbers and broadcaster Dallas Campbell will present a discussion about returning to the Moon and establishing a permanent base there.
Throughout the weekend the festival will relive the Apollo 11 mission that put Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the lunar surface, with archive audio and video being played in real time to simulate the moments humans first set foot on the Moon.
Jodrell Bank's Professor Tim O’Brien will present audio-visual material from the observatory's archive, showing how the it helped track Apollo 11's Eagle Lander onto the lunar surface.
There will also be a screening of Chloe Penman’s documentary about Jodrell Bank’s role in the Space Race.
Bluedot 2019 will also feature Museum of the Moon, a seven-metre wide touring facsimile of the Moon created using NASA imagery of the lunar surface.
Keisha Thompson will perform Man on the Moon, a look at the black British experience, masculinity and mental health.
There will also be a range of musical performances centred on the lunar theme, including the Easy Star All-Stars peforming a rendition of 'Dub Side of the Moon', a re-working of Pink Floyd's album 'Dark Side of the Moon'.
Festival-goers can also expect screenings of films such as Apollo 13, Moon, The Dish, In The Shadow of the Moon and late-night talks, debates and performances.
For more information, visit the bluedot website.
Iain Todd is BBC Sky at Night Magazine's Staff Writer. He fell in love with the night sky when he caught his first glimpse of Orion, aged 10.