What is it like to live and work in the weightless environment of space? What do astronauts eat? How do they sleep? And how do they go to the bathroom?
Find out all the answers at our Space exhibition, including the Zero Gravity Space Lab, where you can experience the illusion of weightlessness. The Space Lab is the highlight of the ‘Living and working in space’ section, where Australian astronaut Dr Andy Thomas and his wife and fellow astronaut Dr Shannon Walker guide you through a visit to the International Space Station (ISS).
The journey begins in the space shuttle, with Andy and Shannon talking from Mission Control Houston about what it’s like to live and work on the ISS. You then move into the habitation module, based on a prototype design for the ISS, where you can see how astronauts spend their time when they’re not working. Here all your questions are answered about daily activities in space, such as sleeping, preparing meals, eating, washing, staying in shape and even going to the loo!
The next stop is the Zero Gravity Space Lab, unique to the Powerhouse Museum in Australia. Using special effects, this replica space lab creates the illusion of weightlessness associated with microgravity. This is accompanied by commentary from Andy Thomas about the research work carried out on the ISS and why it is important to people back on Earth.
The Space gallery retains many old favourites, such as a life-size replica of the forward section of the space shuttle, an early rocket made by the pioneering scientist Robert Goddard; images from the ‘space race’; and an actual Moon rock, on loan from NASA. Plus suspended above you is an amazing collection of satellites and other spacecraft, including one of the world’s largest rocket motors and a model of the first artificial satellite, Sputnik-1.
These are joined by a collection of new artefacts from the Museum’s collection, many not previously seen, including a Soviet flightsuit, a spacesuit and spacecraft emergency equipment, as well as material recovered from the Woomera Rocket Range in South Australia.
All sections feature an amazing display of images showing early space flights and space walks, the shuttle and the ISS, satellites and launch vehicles, and photos from the outer reaches of the solar system taken by robotic space probes.