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Space suits at the NASA exhibition at ArtScience Museum, MBS.

Full-scale replicas of Lunokhod 2 and Apollo Lunar Roving Vehicle.

A brief history of space travel

Nov 18, 2016 5:50 AM

LEONARDO Da Vinci dreamt up contraptions that could take man into space. Jules Verne imagined a large cannon that could shoot an object into the firmament. George Melies was inspired by Verne to create A Trip To The Moon (1902), the world's first science fiction film.

But it was only in 1957 that the Soviet Union successfully launched Sputnik 1, the first human-made object to orbit the Earth.

Not to be outdone in what was known as the "Space Race", the Americans succeeded in putting the first man on the moon in 1969, and subsequently overtook their Russian rivals in their space ambitions.

The new exhibition at the ArtScience Museum titled Nasa - A Human Adventure captures the relatively brief history of space travel, mostly from the 1950s to the present. Produced by events company John Nurminen Events BV, the touring show features approximately 200 genuine artefacts and a dozen full-scale replicas. There is even a G-Force Astronaut Trainer ride that simulates for the visitor the experience of lifting off into space and landing back on Earth.

Spread over five galleries, many of the items here have actually been flown into space. The largest objects, however, such as the spacecrafts Mercury, Gemini, Apollo and Space Shuttle, as well as the Apollo Lunar Roving Vehicle, are full-size replicas because the real objects are not allowed to be taken out of the US.

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There is much to see here, from the series of genuine space suits showing the evolution of its design, to the gigantic spacecraft parachute that looms over you in one gallery.

For die-hard space junkies, there's even a display of space-themed toys, kid's clothes and lunchboxes manufactured in the mid-20th century when space travel obsessions peaked. Of course, for the intended audience of Nasa - A Human Adventure, that obsession may only grow with the show.

  • Nasa - A Human Adventure runs at the ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands from Nov 19 to March 19, 2017. Tickets at S$20 (adult admission) available at the door