‘Space Walk’ opens at the Museum of Sciences “Príncipe Felipe”, Valencia
On 5 June 2002, the Museum of Sciences “Príncipe Felipe” in Valencia, opened the doors of their newest attraction, the ‘Space Walk’. Developed in cooperation with ESA, the ‘Space Walk’ takes visitors on a virtual journey to the International Space Station (ISS). The walk, an interactive simulation, is part of the museum’s new exhibition on space.
Visitors to the ‘Space Walk’ are first invited to suit-up in ESA space suits. On entering the ‘Space Walk’, they pass two light boxes representing the European Physiology Modules and Biolab. The walk continues through a rotating model of ESA’s Columbus Laboratory before entering the pre-launch ‘White Room’. From here the space travellers enter the launch vehicle where they are strapped into their seats. The sights, sounds and motion of the simulator give the four-man crew the sensation that they are being launched into space towards the ISS. Spanish ESA astronaut Pedro Duque provides the narration throughout the walk.
The ‘Space Walk’ is the permanent centrepiece of the museum’s Space Gallery ‘Rumbo al Cosmos’ (‘Heading for the Cosmos’). The 'Space Walk' was created by British specialists Helifilms and Farmer by Studios who designed, developed, researched, wrote and produced the attraction with the support and assistance of ESA and NASA.
Vice President of Valencia’s local government, Mr José Luis Olivas, welcomed the guests and members of the press to the inauguration of the new exhibition and the ‘Space Walk’, after which the museum’s General Director Mr Manuel Toharia officially opened the new attraction.
Mr Valeriano Claros, Manager of ESA’s Ground Station at Villafranca in Spain, expressed how satisfied he was with the cooperation between ESA and the museum, saying how he is looking forward to developing the relationship further in the future.
Pedro Duque, who also attended the inauguration event, was pleased to see the exhibition opened, “I am happy to see the amount of interest in space from the public. This exhibition will be available to a broad audience, not only to the local visitors, but also to the millions of tourists that visit the Valencia area every summer”.
The Museum of Sciences “Príncipe Felipe” is part of Valencia’s City of Arts and Sciences, the largest scientific and cultural centre in Europe. The Museum of Sciences is designed to be an interactive centre for education and information about science and technology. In its first year of opening the museum has received six million visitors.