Top ten UK space museum events for World Space Week 2013

By Ben Miller | 02 October 2013

More than 50 out-of-this-world events are coming up as part of World Space Week in the UK. Here are ten to gaze at...


Man in the Solar System: A Very British Approach, Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institute, Bath, October 2


During the 1980s, a lengthy, intensive study conceived a reusable space launch vehicle called HOTOL, studied by British Aerospace and Rolls-Royce but ultimately abandoned due to lack of government support. Intriguingly, its inventors decided to pursue the idea – one of them, Alan Bond, explains more here.

Stargazing, National Park Visitor Centre, Brecon Beacons, October 5

It’s hard to imagine many settings more picturesque than the Beacons, where telescopes will focus on the phenomena of the night sky. Indoor talks, soup and a roll will have to suffice if the clouds obscure proceedings. Booking essential, telephone 01874 623366.

Space Lates, National Space Centre, Leicester, October 5

Don a space suit, grab gizmos to discover the universe, recreate movies in stop-motion style and drive a Lego version of the Mars Rover during an evening of competitions and inquisitive tomfoolery. Visiting speakers include experts on x-ray astronomy and supermassive black holes.

Public Open Day, Salford Observatory, Salford, October 5

Solar observing in white light and hydrogen alpha from the vantage point of the seventh-largest public telescope in the country. Tours of the observatory lead to tours of outer space thanks to some cunning on-site Sandbox software.

Art of Explorations - Past, Present and Not Too Distant Future, Satrosphere, Aberdeen, October 5

Science art adventures with NASA accomplice Sean McMahon, Aberdeen Art Gallery’s Anna Shortland, artists adept at helping make 3-d aliens and flying saucers and Fergus Connor, who wants everyone to dress up as astronauts and visualise a float through space.

Stellar Screenings, Peterborough Museum, Peterborough, October 5-6

E.T., Alien, Apollo 13 and Star Trek as a corner of Peterborough becomes the setting for bold adventures and lost interplanetary urchins. Blockbuster stuff.

E.T. are you out There?, Royal Astronomical Society, London, October 8

As well as a passion for weightlifting, Dr David Mannion is a man who possesses three degrees in Astronomy and almost 30 years’ fellowship of the Royal Astronomical Society. He should have some insight, then, into our chances of finding intelligent life beyond Earth during the next century.

Astrium World Space Week, Stevenage Museum, Stevenage, October 8-10

Where building a rocket might usually seem a fanciful ambition for science-intrigued cherubs, a set of dedicated workshops in Stevenage will make the dream a reality. They’re aimed at 9-11 year-olds.

After Hours adult evening: A Space Odyssey, At-Bristol Science Centre, Bristol, October 10

Traverse a Martian landscape, gawp at rock samples, present the weather forecast, run in a giant hamster wheel and check out satellites, particles, lasers and a planetarium show in this after-hours special for adults. The accompanying menu includes “blast off” meatballs, marshmallow moon rocks and chocolate meteorites sprinkled with (presumably edible) star dust.

Stargazing, Old Moor, Barnsley, October 12

Talks and stellarium demonstrations fuelled by a pie and pea supper, all overseen by astronomers happy to answer and queries. The proceeds of the modest admission price will be split between charities the RSPB and the Mexborough and Swinton Astronomical Society.


What do you think? Leave a comment below.

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