Earlier this week Pat and I visited the National Space Centre in Leicester.
We hadn’t gone to Leicester specifically for that, but as we were down there we thought we would call and have a look round.
To be honest although we found the centre interesting in parts, we were left somewhat underwhelmed and it fell short of our expectations.
My overall impression was that the centre is aimed predominately at children – which may well be fair enough, I suppose it’s all a question of perspective.
There are certainly plenty of hands on activities for children and I can imagine the centre is an ideal place for children to visit to bring to life some of what they have seen on TV and/or learned in the classroom – but for adults then I’m not so sure.
As a child of the 1950s I grew up watching the early stages of the ‘space race’ and have vivid memories of the Apollo missions and the moon landings, so maybe those memories left me wanting more.
Something worth saying is that there really were a vast amount of children there on school trips/outings and the general behavior of some of them left a little to be desired and in truth detracted from our visit. I don’t intend that to come across as grumpy and anti-children, far from it, I love seeing children getting out on sound educational school trips but I would have thought some limits on numbers of school parties at any one time might be beneficial for all concerned, especially for the children themselves.
On the positive side we enjoyed some of the exhibits, the Soyuz spacecraft along with various space suits and bits and pieces was interesting, the 42m rocket tower that houses Blue Streak and Thor Able missiles is described as ‘iconic’, but that’s not at all how I would describe it.
Quite rightly there are plenty of references to the exploits of Tim Peake and I’m sure his name has done a great deal to bring visitors to the centre – but I can’t get away from the fact that whilst we found our visit interesting to a point, overall we were pretty underwhelmed and left £28 lighter in the pocket for the hour we spent there.
Some pictures are posted below, clicking the first will open a scrolable gallery.