One of my favourite places to visit in Manchester is the wonderful Museum of Science and Industry. I could happily while away the day there, exploring the different parts of the museum and it’s somewhere I really don’t visit often enough with the children.
I had an excuse this week to push me into taking a visit – Tim Peake’s Soyuz capsule is at the museum for a few weeks, and it seemed like the perfect excuse to go along – I mean it’s not every day you get to see something like this up close.
I remember watching the rocket set off to the space station with the children, but when we re-watched it on Thursday morning on YouTube they couldn’t recall it. We talked about space and watched a few more videos about the ISS – mostly the tour type videos. We then watched another which showed Tim Peake and his two fellow astronauts return to Earth and I explained to the children that this is what we were going to go and see.
We took the tram into the city centre and made the short walk from the stop over to the museum. We were there not long after it opened but it was already quite busy with a few school groups (which is to be expected).
The Soyuz and the accompanying display are in the main entrance bit – and it’s quite impressive to see. I’m not sure what I really expected other than I was struck at how small it is – especially given it had three men inside it on its return! There is a display around the Soyuz with various bits of information on and some video panels etc. We also got to take a look at the space suit that Tim Peake wore and also saw the parachutes attached to the Soyuz.
It’s quite impressive to think where it’s been and it’s something I can’t quite get my head around when I think about it too much!
After we had looked at the Soyuz we went to have a wander around the rest of the museum. The children were mostly taken with the engines section and H had lots of fun pointing out the cobbles and other stones whilst D and E enjoyed looking at the engines (Steam much to D’s delight).
We then headed over to the Air and Space section where we had a short walk around and a bite to eat. After another quick look at things on the way out we headed into the experiment hands-on section which, if I’m truthful, would benefit from a bit of an upgrade (and also staggering of the school visits as there were three school groups in when we there and D, E and H couldn’t get near things really). We stopped off for a coffee and a milkshake at the on-site Bistro (which was well priced) and then headed home.
Happily the following day we picked up some parcels from the post office and included was this fab Life on Earth: Space book. I’ve seen this from a few US Instagrammers recently and it looks great. D straight away got stuck into this book and it’s brilliantly illustrated in a comic style with lots of panels and section and flaps to lift. I can see D and E pouring over this and it’s companion title, Life on Earth: Ocean. . They are both full of information and all presented in a really engaging way – they use questions and answers so they’re quite interactive in that respect.
I think this book plus a visit to see the Soyuz capsule might lead to a space project here at some stage in the not too distant future.