Gateway to Space expo promises to be out of this world
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