Best Space Centers to Visit Around the World
By Space Coast Daily // August 1, 2020
The Space Coast might be the most famous region related to space exploration, but there are lots of other fantastic space centers around the world that you can visit. If you are looking to take off on an adventure, you will have a blast at the following best space centers on the planet.
Euro Space Center, Belgium
Located in Transnne, Belgium, the Euro Space Center is a museum and educational attraction devoted to astronautics and space science.
It includes simulators of micro-gravity and space-flight, a 5D cinema, a fantastic planetarium, and plenty of family events. Euro Space Center also houses the only full-scale model of a US space shuttle in Europe, the Amicitia.
Tsukuba Space Center, Japan
Astronauts are trained, satellites are built, and outer-space operations are conducted at Japan’s Tsukuba Space Center. The 530,000-square-meter site opened in 1972.
You will see a full-sized mock-up of the Japanese Experiment Module for the International Space Station, Kibō. You will also discover a model of the H-II Transfer Vehicle, the automated cargo spacecraft that is used to resupply the Kibō.
The Tsukuba Space Center is situated in the Science City in Ibaraki Prefecture, about 50 miles from Tokyo. And if you spend some time in Tokyo, you can also visit the TeNQ Space Museum, which features plenty of space-themed exhibitions and interactive displays. You will not be short of other things to do in Tokyo.
For instance, in the evening, you can explore the city’s bustling nightlife of bars and restaurants. A casino is also currently being constructed in Tokyo, but if it is not finished by the time you visit, you can always play casino games in real-time at an online live casino instead.
National Space Centre, United Kingdom
Designed by the prominent architect Nicholas Grimshaw, the UK’s National Space Centre opened to the public in 2001. At 138-feet tall, the towering building claims to be the only site to house upright space rockets indoors. The center’s six galleries showcase exhibitions covering space flight, cosmology, and astronomy.
The National Space Centre also houses one of only three Soyuz spacecraft in the West, a three-dome cinema and planetarium, and a unique 3D simulator experience.
Furthermore, at the restaurant, you can dine beneath the two nozzles of the PGM-17 Thor and Blue Streak rockets.
Cité de l’espace, France
France’s city of space opened in 1997 on the outskirts of Toulouse. The space center brings space exploration to life with numerous fantastic exhibits and attractions.
You can see full-scale models of the Ariane 5 rocket, the Mars Rover, and the Mir space station. And if you are feeling brave, you can test your tolerance for space travel in the center’s rotating pod.
Cité de l’espace also features a 140-seat planetarium, a 300-seat IMAX cinema that shows the film Hubble 3D, and a simulator that enables you to prepare for a rocket launch, guide its flight and then place a satellite into orbit.
Space Expo, The Netherlands
Opened in 1990 by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and her son Prince Friso, Holland’s Space Expo was the first permanent space exhibition and visitor’s center in Europe.
When visiting the space center, you can touch a real meteorite, launch a simulated hydrogen rocket, and walk through a model of the International Space Station.
There are also many exhibits focusing on the Dutch physician and ESA astronaut André Kuipers’ space missions. They include items like his original space suit and the Soyuz TMA-03M space capsule in which André Kuipers traveled to the International Space Station.
Kennedy Space Center, USA
Naturally, Kennedy Space Center has to appear on a list of the best space centers in the world. Since 1968, the KSC has been NASA’s primary launch facility for human space-flight.
The Apollo, Skylab, and Space Shuttle programs were all carried out at the KSC, which is adjacent to Florida’s other well-known space facility Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
The complex of the KSC is organized into Mission Zones, which display exhibits in chronological order. You can walk through the US Astronaut Hall of Fame, discover more about the Apollo space program’s unsung heroes, visit the Hubble Space Telescope Theater, and try your hand at space training simulators.
You can also take a walk through the Rocket Garden, where you can see rockets from NASA’s Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs.
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