Space Rocks at the National Space Centre

The National Space Centre is home to one of only three pieces of moon rock on display to the public in the UK. However, this month visitors to the Leicester based centre will be able to get up close with some very special lunar and Martian samples, thanks to UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

On 25 and 26 July, the National Space Academy, based at the National Space Centre, will be curating and auditing the collection, which is usually on loan free of charge to schools and educational establishments throughout the UK.

This gives visitors the opportunity to see a collection that is very rarely seen together, as well as hold in their hands samples of a 1.2 billion-year-old piece of Mars, a 4.3 billion-year-old nickel meteorite and lunar samples collected in the late 1960s and early 1970s during some of NASA’s first manned space missions to the Moon.

The sessions are free to all visitors to the National Space Centre and the National Space Academy team will be on hand to answer questions and provide full details of the collection.

STFC’s Executive Chair, Professor Mark Thomson, said: “We are thrilled to be able to offer this unique opportunity. It is not often they will be able to see close-up, and actually touch, such important fragments of science history. Samples like these are vital in teaching us more about our solar system, allowing us to confront theory with fact. We hope this experience will encourage children to take up a career in science.”