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The National Space Centre
National Space Centre
is a museum and educational resource covering the fields of space science and astronomy, along with a space research programme in partnership with the University of Leicester. It is located on the north side the city of Leicester, England, next to the River Soar. Many of the exhibits, including upright rockets, are housed in a tower with minimal steel supports and a semi-transparent cladding of ETFE
ETFE
'pillows'[1] which has become one of Leicester's most recognisable landmarks.

Contents

1 History

1.1 University of Leicester

2 Main exhibits 3 Facilities

3.1 Digital visualisation 3.2 Near Earth objects

4 Events 5 See also 6 References 7 External links

7.1 Video clips

History[edit] The building was designed by Nicholas Grimshaw, and it opened to the public on 30 June 2001.[2] The tower is 42 m (138 ft) tall and claims to be the only place to house upright space rockets indoors.[2] University of Leicester[edit] The centre arose from a partnership between the University of Leicester's Space Research Centre and local government agencies.[citation needed] The total project cost was £52m, £26m of which came from a Millennium Commission grant, and the rest from private sector sponsors.[3] It is run as an educational charity, and offers science workshops for school children of all ages.[citation needed] The National Space Centre
National Space Centre
currently has post-doctoral science researchers based at the University of Leicester's Space Research Centre (SRC) and the University of Nottingham's Institute of Engineering Surveying and Space Geodesy (IESSG).[citation needed] Main exhibits[edit]

The Soyuz 7K OK(A) Spacecraft on display

The Centre has on display one of only three known Soyuz spacecraft
Soyuz spacecraft
in the West (there is one in France at the Cité de l'espace
Cité de l'espace
and another one in the United States at the Smithsonian Institution
Smithsonian Institution
as part of their Apollo-Soyuz Test Project
Apollo-Soyuz Test Project
display).[citation needed]

The Rocket Tower

Inside, Blue Streak and Thor (right)

The centre has six main galleries of exhibits and visitor activities covering space flight, astronomy and cosmology. The attraction also includes a Digistar 3
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
PGM-17 Thor
rockets. Facilities[edit] Digital visualisation[edit] The Centre's own digital visualisation team, NSC Creative, make all the "fulldome" planetarium shows shown at the Centre. By 2011, NSC Creative fulldome shows are playing in over 220 planetaria in 27 countries worldwide.[2] These productions include the official International Year of Astronomy
Astronomy
(IYA2009) planetarium show "We are Astronomers" which was funded by the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).[4] Near Earth objects[edit]

Beagle 2

The failed Beagle 2
Beagle 2
Mars
Mars
spacecraft was controlled from the centre's Landing Operations Control Centre.[5] UK Government's official Near-Earth object
Near-Earth object
(NEO) Information Centre[6] is also based at the centre.[7] Events[edit]

Apollo program
Apollo program
astronaut Buzz Aldrin
Buzz Aldrin
visited the Space Centre in June 2005.[2] The first Star Wars
Star Wars
Day was held on 30 July 2005. Due to the popularity of this event, Star Wars
Star Wars
weekend has been held annually, as of 2015.[8] The centre hosted a celebration of 50 years of Doctor Who
Doctor Who
in November 2013.[9] A Sci-Fi Weekend on the weekend beginning 17 June 2006 included a live-action experience similar to Alien War.[citation needed] On 19 July 2006 NASA
NASA
astronaut Brian Duffy visited and told people about his trip to space.[citation needed] More recently the National Space Centre
National Space Centre
hosted a UK tour by the NASA STS-121
STS-121
crew, including UK born astronaut Piers Sellers.[2] The crew spoke to MPs, industry leaders and school children about the UK Space Industry.[citation needed] Many of the children who met the crew said they were inspired to consider science and technology as a further education topic.[citation needed]

In 2007, the National Space Centre
National Space Centre
celebrated 50 Years in Space: the anniversary of the first satellite, Sputnik.[citation needed] See also[edit]

British National Space Centre Abbey Pumping Station, nearby museum

References[edit]

^ "Grimshaw projects: National Space Centre, Leicester, UK". Grimshaw: Architecture, Planning, Industrial Design. Retrieved 22 February 2017.  ^ a b c d e " National Space Centre
National Space Centre
in Leicester
Leicester
celebrates 10 years". BBC. 30 June 2011.  ^ "The National Space Centre: The countdown begins" (PDF). University of Leicester
Leicester
Bulletin. 2001.  ^ "We Are Astronomers". IYA2009. Retrieved 13 February 2017.  ^ Sims, Beagle 2
Beagle 2
Mission Manager, M.R. (2004). " Beagle 2
Beagle 2
Mars: Mission Report" (PDF). National Space Centre. Archived from the original on 14 June 2007. CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link) ^ "The Spaceguard Centre The National Near Earth Objects Information Centre". nearearthobjects.co.uk. Retrieved 26 September 2016.  ^ Williams, Iwan P. (2006). "The UK Near Earth Object Information Centre (NEOIC)". International Astronomical Union, Proceedings IAU Symposium No. 236.  ^ Godsall, David (18 June 2015). "National Space Centre's Star Wars weekend blasts off". Loughborough Echo. Retrieved 20 July 2016.  ^ " Doctor Who
Doctor Who
fans meet stars and villains at National Space Centre". Leicester
Leicester
Mercury. 16 November 2013. Archived from the original on 19 November 2013. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to National Space Centre, Leicester.

Official website

Video clips[edit]

National Space Centre
National Space Centre
YouTube channel

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