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National Space Centre

The National Space Centre in 2007.
The National Space Centre in 2007.

The National Space Centre is situated by the River Soar, north of the centre of Leicester. It was built after a successful bid from the University of Leicester and Leicester City Council to the Millennium Commission. The building was designed by architect Nicholas Grimshaw, whose work includes the Eden Project in Cornwall. The National Space Centre opened on 30th June 2001.

Statue commemorating astronaut Ed White.
Pioneer statue commemorating astronaut Ed White the first American to make a space walk, who died in the Apollo 1 fire.

Rocket Tower

The 42 metre Rocket Tower contains Blue Streak and Thor rockets. Blue Streak was the first stage, of three, of the Europa rocket, a collaboration involving the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium. The project was cancelled in November 1971.

The Rocket Tower, National Space Centre, Leicester.
The Rocket Tower with the Thor and Blue Streak rockets.

Credit: National Space Centre, Leicester.


These include space travel and astronomy, with plenty of interactive exhibits.


In 2012 the Planetarium was named after Sir Patrick Moore.

NSC Creative

NSC Creative is a computer animation studio based at the National Space Centre. Their work includes shows used in planetariums all over the world.

BAA Meetings

The British Astronomical Association has held meetings at the National Space Centre on 30th June 2007 and 28th June 2008. Leicester Astronomical Society was involved with organising both meetings.

Leicester Astronomical Society, National Space Centre, 28 June, 2008.
One of the displays by Leicester Astronomical Society on 28 June 2008.


Over the years visitors to the National Space Centre have included astronauts Buzz Aldrin, Charlie Duke, Helen Sharman, Michael Foale, and Piers Sellars.

Charlie Duke at the National Space Centre, Leicester Mercury, 21 November, 2009.
Charlie Duke, CapCom for the Apollo 11 Moon landing and Apollo 16 astronaut, at the National Space Centre, Leicester, 20 November, 2009.

From: The Leicester Mercury, 21 November, 2009.


National Space Centre

NSC Creative

National Space Centre (Wikipedia)

Happy tenth anniversary to the National Space Centre!

BAA Meeting Report: Exhibition Meeting, 2007 June 30

BAA Meeting Report: Exhibition Meeting and Ordinary Meeting, 2008 June 28

Europa (rocket) (Wikipedia)

Grimshaw - architects.

Leicester Mercury


Last updated 8th November, 2012.

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