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Before Christmas we visited the Kennedy Space Centre whilst we were on holiday in Florida, and then last week we went to the National Space Centre in Leicester. Having visited them both fairly close together it’s quite interesting to compare the two.

Kennedy Space Centre was mind-blowing – we saw Discovery on the launch pad ready for it’s next flight (currently scheduled for the 24th Feb) and we learnt a lot about how to build rockets and the engineering behind getting into space. We saw an amazing 3D film (narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio) about the Hubble telescope with amazing footage of repairing it. We saw a Saturn V rocket (the same as what was used for the Apollo missions) and watched a simulation of landing on the moon.

Leicester Space Centre was much more about the science – what was in space and what were they trying to find out through going into space. There were loads of exhibits for children to interact with (we were one of few people there without kids) and covered the science from astronomy of the solar system and the wider Universe as well as the history of people being interested in the stars. They also had some rockets, although not as big as the Saturn V. I was really pleasantly surprised by the quality of the exhibits and we also got to go round and spot faces of people we knew! I also remembered lots of my physics and was able to explain to my husband more about some things.

I really enjoyed visitng both of them, and it was great to see so many other people there interested in space and what’s out there. Hopefully the enthusiasm of the children will bode well for the future of science and engineering in the UK.

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