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World premiere of NASA exhibition

posted 27 Jan 2011, 10:19 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 27 Jan 2011, 10:22 ]

The world's biggest touring space exhibition - NASA - A Human Adventure - opens in Stockholm, featuring hundreds of original items or replicas including space capsules, engines, space suits, telescopes and satellites, many of which have never been shown before.

The NASA - A Human Adventure exhibition at the Technical Museum in Stockholm opens its doors to the public on Friday (January 28).

Many of the exhibition's 400 items will be on display for the first time. Some of the items are original and some are replicas built especially for the exhibition and they include space capsules, engines, space suits, telescopes and satellites.

In the 2,500 square metre exhibition, the exploration of space is explained through a number of installations, from the first space rocket launches and the United States-Soviet Union space race to modern exploration of space beyond our solar system.

Deborah Rivera, NASA Strategic Alliances Manager said the aim of the exhibition was to show the human work behind the machines.

"This exhibition is to show the public the human side of all the hardware. What's gone into the hardware, why it's happening, the absolutely unbelievable joy of discovery when we explore and what we've learned from the exploration to help human kind," Rivera said.

People visiting can take a closer look at space suits from different missions, learn how people survive in space and look at items that are now household items but were a result of the space race, suach as nappies, wireless tools, microwave ovens and mobile telephones.

Exhibition producer Jose Araujo said one of the most frequently asked questions concerned bodily functions and toilet facilities so one important object at the exhibition was the toilet facilities in the Atlantis' replica.

Jose Araujo said his favourite objects in the exhibition were the early computers.

"Your mobile phone today is maybe eight or ten times as powerful than any of these computers. they landed on the moon with this. This was used to program their landing, their navigation this is how they oriented themselves in space," he said.

Among his other favourites were items from the Apollo missions and he pointed to a fuel cell that caused the 1970 Apollo 13 mission to nearly end in disaster.

"The accident that caused the astronauts and of course the mission to be aborted was this fuel cell, the Apollo fuel cell, which had a bad circuitry that caused a short circuitry and had this fuel cell exploded and the side panel just went out," Araujo explained.

Apollo 13 was supposed to head for the moon but the landing had to be aborted after a fuel cell exploded and the crew had to use their imagination and ingenuity to get back to Earth.

Children from a local school who were invited to the preview of the exhibition were enthusiastic.

"I liked the moon car because it was so cool and interesting," said Annabelle Nowak-Braberg.

Her class mate Justin Hellsten preferred the Atlantis replica.

"I liked the nose of Atlantis because I think it's like you get how big it is and you don't realise how big it is," he said.

The exhibition closes on November 6 when it will continue on a tour of Europe - with either France or Spain as the next stop - and then the United States.