Destination Space is a project focussing on the UK’s important role in global space science and exploration and aims to reach families, communities, and schools all over the country throughout 2019 and 2020.
The programme has 4 main themes: UK Spaceports; Satellite Applications; ExoMars & the James Webb Space Telescope.
The UK is renowned for its space industry expertise and is currently a world-leader in the manufacture of small satellites. Because of this, the UK will soon have its very own spaceports that will allow us to design, build and launch satellites all within the UK which will result in a space industry that will be even more successful than it currently is!
Through fun activities, we explore what influences where scientists build Spaceports, where in the world they are now and where the British ones might be built in the next decade. Explosive rocket demos will show how these crafts will be launched into space and young scientists will even get the chance to build and launch their very own ‘stomp rockets’!
We all rely on space technology daily – even if we don’t realise it! Satellites are used for so many everyday things such as predicting our weather and controlling our car GPS to the less obvious like counting penguins in Antarctica or tracking pirates on the high seas!
Do you think you could guess how far satellites are from our earth? How many satellites does it take to control the GPS on your phone? Are there satellites orbiting above your head right now? We explore what satellites are, how they are made, what they do and why they are important to us through games, demos, and activities that get the whole family involved.
Artist's impression of OCO-2 orbiting the Erath, photo credit: NASA
Humans have always been fascinated by the Red Planet, and in 2020 scientists are launching a brand new mission to explore it that may revolutionise our understanding of our planetary neighbour.
Young scientists will be inspired by all things Martian as they explore the surface and identify craters, mountains and even the largest volcano in our solar system using planetary globes, 3D maps, and virtual reality! Have you ever wondered what you might smell if you stepped out on to the surface of another world? Warning: Mars has had a rather smelly history so sniff at your own risk! Finally, get hands-on with our remote-controlled Lego Mars Rover and get your creative juices flowing by designing and building your very own space robot!
The ExoMars Rover, photo credit: ESA
The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST)
The JWST is a huge telescope that will be launched far away from Earth and will gather the information that could answer some of the biggest questions we have been asking for thousands of years.
We think the JWST is amazing and have loads of awesome activities to show just how incredible this piece of technology is!
Join the team as we try to build the sunshield using a giant mirror puzzle and find out how this giant telescope is folded up for launch by trying your hand at some special space origami! Explore the invisible world by looking at everything as the JWST does – in infrared! Ice baths, nebula boards, and card tricks will all demonstrate how much we can learn about our universe if we look further than what our eyes can see.
The JWST mirrors undergoing cryogenic testing. Photo credit: NASA
Everyone is more than welcome to come along and take part in our Destination Space activities – but we think they are ideally suited to children aged 8-14.
We are unable to run events in the centre at the moment due to Covid 19, however there are lots of space-themed activities that you can do from home! Click here to discover activities and crafts inspired by the Destination Space! program.