Monday, August 26, 2013

National Space Centre

I've not posted for a while but thought I would give you a review on the National Space Centre at Leicester, I visited yesterday.

The entrance has hand prints of astronauts who have visited the centre and the tall tower housing the rockets looms over the main access point.  The building and contents are all showing a bit of wear and it doesn't look like it has been updated since it opened in 2001.

The reception houses one of only 2 Soyuz on display in the West - The other is in the Smithsonian in Washington.  Getting up close you can see how space flight has evolved since it was built.
 The above is a weather satellite - Can't remember the make and model - sorry.
 Above is a mock up a Voyager.  Fantastic in it's simplicity.
A Thor and a Blue Streak rocket on display in the cafeteria.  Both borne out of military weapons and became the blue print of Britain's entry into the space race.

The exhibits are amazing and just to get a feeling of scale is awe inspiring.  From the cramped conditions of the Soyuz to the mock up of the Columbus unit on the ISS a true measure of progress can be seen.

 This is a solar cell from the Hubble telescope showing clear impact craters. Other exhibits showed how much damage a dust particle can cause.
And my favourite, the last piece of moon bought back to Earth.

It is a fine museum with fascinating displays and hands on exhibits.  Aimed at the 8yr old upwards it is a place of wonder for any child with an interest in Space - it just needs sprucing up a little!

We saw a "We are all Aliens" show at the Patrick Moore Planetarium which was breathtaking and almost worth the entrance fee alone.  Almost.