Exploring Space

Children in Space gallery


Exploring Space covers many aspects of space and space travel.

The gallery is divided into sections:

  • Can we really live in space? explores how astronauts eat, drink and go to the toilet in space. It includes Helen Sharman’s actual spacesuit, alongside space food and a space nappy.
  • Back to the Moon? looks at the Apollo missions to the Moon. Here you can see a replica of ‘Eagle’, the lander that took astronauts Armstrong and Aldrin onto the lunar surface in 1969.
  • How far can we go? is all about the history of the rocket. It Includes the Black Arrow rocket suspended to show its separation stages and satellite payload.
  • Can we visit new worlds? looks at how we are exploring our universe. There’s a full-size replica of the Huygens module that landed on Titan in 2005 and a model of the Beagle 2 Mars lander.
  • Can we reach for the stars? investigates the technologies being used by scientists to peer into the heart of our galaxy.
  • What have we sent into orbit? reveals how satellites keep us in touch and on the move.

Ideas for using the gallery with students

Ask students to find out as much as they can in the gallery about people in space, so they’ll be ready to write a fictional diary for an astronaut on a space mission.

Ask students to collect information in the gallery to answer the question ‘Would you like to go into space?’ Back in school they can present their views to the class, or make a poster explaining their opinion.

Ask students to look at the development of rockets through time using prompts such as:

  • List similarities and differences between the rockets, e.g. what they are made of, how big they are, the fuel they use, how far they can travel, number of passengers carried (if any).
  • Draw the shapes of the rockets. Are they similar? Why are they this shape?
  • What are the different rockets used for?
  • List the rockets in age order. Are they now in size order too? Why is this?
  • List the materials used to make the rockets. How do they change over time? Why?
  • How far did the first rockets travel? How far do rockets travel today? What is the main reason rockets can travel further today?
  • What have the world wars go to do with building rockets?

Ask students to compare rockets and satellites using prompts such as:

  • Draw the shape of one rocket and one satellite. Why do you think rockets and satellites are shaped differently?
  • Which are bigger, rockets or satellites? Why?
  • How do rockets get into space? How do satellites get into space?
  • Are rockets and satellites used for similar or different things? List some uses of satellites and rockets.
  • Do rockets and satellites both need energy? What for? How do they get it?
suggested 20-30 minutes
Suitable for:
age 7 upwards
Places per session:
not applicable
Pre-booking req'd:
Supervisory ratio:

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