The Exploring Space gallery contains a host of rockets, satellites, space probes and landers. You’ll be able to find out how the space age started in 1957 with the launch of Sputnik 1 and how we’ve gone on to launch thousands of satellites around Earth, send spacecraft to other planets, walk on our Moon and peer into the heart of our galaxy and beyond.

Above your heads are two real space rockets: one a British Black Arrow, the other a United States Scout. A Black Arrow launched the Prospero satellite in 1971, while Scout vehicles put hundreds of payloads and spacecraft into orbit between 1960 and 1994.

There is a section devoted to the thousands of satellites – working and redundant, as well as the pieces of space debris – that are orbiting Earth. A huge projection depicts these in their low, medium and high orbits. Find out what satellites are used for and why they are an indispensable tool for studying climate change.

There is a highly accurate, full-sized replica of ‘Eagle’ – the lander that took astronauts Armstrong and Aldrin to the Moon in 1969. And just alongside you can find out more about how we are able to live in space – to breathe, to eat, to drink and… to go to the toilet.

This gallery redevelopment is supported by EADS, and the British National Space Centre, and the Science and Technology Facilities Council.

On display

Moon rock

This piece of Moon rock was cut from the ‘Great Scott’ rock that Apollo 15 astronaut David Scott picked from the Moon’s surface in August 1971.

 
Black Arrow R4 rocket in the Space Gallery, Science Museum, 2000.

The fifth and final Black Arrow rocket, its predecessor made Britain the fifth nation to launch its own satellite.

 
Huygens replica

The Huygens spacecraft was the first to land on Titan.

 
Rocketdyne J-2 rocket motor, 1960s

The J-2 engine is one of the most important engines in the history of manned space flight.

 
Beagle 2 replica, 2003

Beagle 2 was sent to land on Mars.

 
 

Events

Roaring rockets, amazing astronauts and smelly space poo.

 

 
Actor playing Gene Cernan in the Science Museum's Space Gallery

What would you like to ask Gene Cernan, the last man to step on the Moon in 1972?