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Exploring Space–groups

Discover how we’ve sent spacecraft to other planets, walked on the Moon and peered into the heart of our galaxy and beyond. Great for KS1 upwards (ages 5+). 

Out in the vast darkness of space are billions of stars and planets. Spacecraft pass through, scanning worlds and moons, beaming images and data back to Earth. Here, that data comes to life, projected onto a glowing globe displaying a constantly-changing view.

Imagine leaving Earth behind and taking the first steps into space... What was it like for the first astronauts who touched down on the Moon? What did they wear? What did they eat? How did they get home again?

Students can explore these questions through objects including rockets and satellites, probes and landers, and astronaut food and space nappies. They can also look at broader questions such as what it would take to be an astronaut, or how far we should go in exploring the vastness of the universe.

And don't miss the Soyuz TMA-19M descent module that safely carried astronauts Tim Peake, Yuri Malenchenko and Tim Kopra back from the International Space Station in 2016.

You can also see a 4.6-billion-year-old sample from asteroid Ryugu in our free display about the remarkable Hayabusa2 mission. An incredible chance to observe matter that’s older than our planet.

To complete your visit pop into the adjacent Making the Modern World gallery to see the Apollo 10 Command Module that took astronauts into space on the dress-rehearsal mission for the lunar landings.

Gallery Guide

Use our practical guide to help you make the most of this gallery.

It includes a map of the gallery, key objects not to be missed and discussion questions to try out with your group during the visit.

This gallery is open access and you can explore at any time during your visit. We do not allocate specific time slots so you can fit it around other activities that you may have booked.

This page is for educational groups; for general visitor information, please see the main gallery page.