Gate­way to Space expo prom­ises to be out of this world

CityPress - - News -

Space might be the final fron­tier, but for two months, South Africans can get a close-up look at the amaz­ing equip­ment used to trans­port hu­mans into outer space.

Gate­way to Space: The Ex­hi­bi­tion will run at the Sand­ton Con­ven­tion Cen­tre from June 1 to July 31 and has been brought here by You, Drum and Huisgenoot.

The main ex­hibit is the 15m-long life-size model of the Mir Space Sta­tion’s core mod­ule, which served as the pri­mary liv­ing space for the crew.

In­side you’ll find the con­trols for the en­vi­ron­men­tal sys­tems, the sta­tion’s main en­gines and the al­ti­tude­con­trol sys­tems. One of Mir’s many records in­cludes the long­est hu­man space flight by Va­leri Vladimirovich Polyakov, who spent 437 con­sec­u­tive days in space from Jan­uary 1994 to March 1995.

Minette Fer­reira, spokesper­son at Me­dia24, says vis­i­tors will get an op­por­tu­nity to walk into this area and see the var­i­ous but­tons and con­trols of this 20 000kg replica.

Another high­light is an orig­i­nal Soviet Sokol suit that went into space, which is be­ing flown to the South African ex­hi­bi­tion in an air-con­trolled case.

Crews aboard the Rus­sian Soyuz space­craft use this suit. It was first used in 1973 and is still worn on all launches to the In­ter­na­tional Space Sta­tion. The suit, which weighs about 10kg, isn’t for use out­side the cap­sule in the vac­uum of space, but pro­tects the crew from un­ex­pected de­com­pres­sion.

De­com­pres­sion oc­curred when the Soyuz 11 de­parted from the Sa­lyut 1 space sta­tion in 1971.

Other at­trac­tions in­clude mod­els of Sput­nik 1 – the first satel­lite in space – the Apollo cap­sule and the Lu­nar Rover.

You can even touch a moon rock and see the in­side of a shut­tle’s cock­pit.

“There are more than 60 space at­trac­tions in this ex­hi­bi­tion and it’s truly a once-in-a-life­time ex­pe­ri­ence,” Fer­reira added.

All tick­ets (ex­clud­ing school pack­ages) are avail­able at Com­puticket.

For more in­for­ma­tion go to gate­way­tospace.co.za.

– Staff re­porter GIVEAWAY

We are giv­ing away four sets of Gate­way to Space fam­ily tick­ets to City Press read­ers. SMS your name and the key­word SPACE to 34217. Each SMS costs R1.50 and win­ners will be no­ti­fied

From left: The 15m life-size model of the Mir Space Sta­tion’s core mod­ule; the Apollo cap­sule, which landed on the moon; and an Apollo space­suit

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