The National Space Centre is one of the United Kingdom's leading visitor attractions that is devoted to space science and astronomy. It is located in the city of Leicester. The Centre has on display one of the only known Soyuz spacecraft in Western Europe (there are two others in France at the Cité de l'espace and, in the United States, another Soyuz spacecraft is at the Smithsonian Institution as part of their Apollo-Soyuz Test Project display). The centre has six main galleries of exhibits and visitor activities covering space flight, astronomy and cosmology. The attraction also includes a Digistar 3 dome cinema and planetarium, a gift shop and a restaurant. The restaurant is situated beneath the two nozzles of the Blue Streak and PGM-17 Thor rockets.
The semi-transparent Rocket Tower, which is clad in high-tech ETFE “pillows”, was designed specially to house the Centre’s largest artefacts, including the Blue Streak and Thor Able Rockets. The Into Space Gallery: Not only will you walk through a mock up of the Columbus Module from the International Space Station, but you can also discover the answer behind the most asked question asked at the National Space Centre, how do you go to the toilet in space? Many astronauts have visited the National Space Centre, including Buzz Aldrin who was part of the Apollo 11 crew who landed on the Moon. Follow in their footsteps and see Helen Sharman’s launch couch and spacesuit from her journey to become the first Briton in space.
The Space Oddities gallery showcases some hidden treasures from their collection. The unusual objects on display here reveal some of the less well known stories in space history. This gallery is regularly updated, allowing the Curator to hand-pick new objects for display. The gallery also houses the interactive touch-table, through which you can explore objects in further detail. In the Orbiting Earth Gallery you can discover the satellites in space that make a real difference to your life. Satellite navigation, weather forecasting, emergency disaster warnings and understanding the changes to our fragile planet are all highlighted in the Orbiting Earth Gallery. Enter the Weather Pod, watch the impact of an asteroid in the Near Earth Objects Information Centre or create your own sound waves in this informative and exciting gallery.
Want to know more about the planets in our Solar System? Walk through the The Planets Gallery and stop off at Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Take time out of your journey to drive a Martian rover on the red planet, take a bath with Saturn and even see Venus in 3D. Exploring the Universe : Explore the wonders of our Universe. Discover the science behind the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI), take a trip through a wormhole and watch the Big Bang. Take time to look up and see the technology created here on Earth that is observing the Universe to further science and improve life on our planet. Step into the Stellarium to see how our Sun fits into the known Universe, take your picture to become an alien, come face to face with an Alien Autopsy Roswell head or even see if you can recreate the Big Bang.
Disabled parking spaces available (parking charges apply). The Sir Patrick Moore Planetarium has spaces for up to 6 wheelchairs. Wheelchairs are available on loan to visitors free of charge (subject to availability). Large print information is available upon request. Assistance dogs are welcome. Touch tours are available with prior booking. An induction loop is fitted in the Sir Patrick Moore Planetarium. Most audio exhibits are subtitled. Seating is available throughout the galleries. Male, female and disabled toilets are situated throughout the centre. Baby Changing Facilities are situated next to the Cargo Bay shop and also behind the Space Now gallery. Spaceflight Induction Module: All riders must be at least 1.2m (120cm) tall to ride the SIM. Under 14s must be accompanied by an adult in order to ride. The Simulator is not suitable for people with certain medical conditions; please refer to the list displayed in the Tranquillity Base prior to boarding. For those unable to access the SIM they offer the opportunity to enjoy the show without entering the ride.
Location : National Space Centre, Exploration Drive, Leicester, LE4 5NS
Transport: Leicester (National Rail) then 54 bus. Bus Routes : First Bus 54 stops close by.
Opening Times : Daily 10:00 to 16:00; Weekends until 17:00.
Tickets : Adults £14.00; Concessions £11.00 ; Children (5 - 16) £11.00
Tel: 0116 261 0261