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Riverview, New Brunswick
May 31, 2007
The Space Center is divided into four areas. Your admission ($15 adult, 2007) gets you a timed entry to the Virtual Voyages Motion Simulator, so you are free to see the rest in the interim. The simulator takes you on a wild ride to the sun to save the colony on Mars. As with all such simulators, it’s well done, great fun, and a highlight of your visit. (A height restriction applies.)
You will probably spend most of your time in the Cosmic Courtyard. It uses computer simulations, displays, and a little humor to educate the public on the concerns of astronomers and astronauts; it’s all quite interesting. Displays dealt with subjects such as light pollution, man in space, and the effects of asteroids and meteorites on the earth. You can touch a moon rock or a 13kg meteorite, dock a space shuttle, explore the features of possible alien life, or design a voyage to Mars. There’s actually quite a bit to hold your attention.
Ground Station Canada is a theater in which presentations take you back to your physics classroom in a series of 20-minute lectures. Well, perhaps lecture was the wrong word, because if my physics class had been that well demonstrated, I may not have fallen asleep as much as I did. We saw the "Rocket Lab", but there were seven other subjects available through the day.
In the Planetarium Star Theater there are 40-minute presentations on a huge domed screen overhead as you sit in your comfortable chair. Some of the presentations feature rock music and lasers and on the weekends and holidays at the time of our visit there were five different offerings. For the full rock experience, consider taking in an evening show featuring lasers and the music of Pink Floyd or the Doors, etc. I regret that we were unable to attend an evening show and perhaps my only regret about this facility was that I couldn’t have stayed longer and seen more. See Space Centre.
From journal Adventures in Lotusland: Vancouver
Auckland, United Kingdom
December 29, 2002
The Space Centre is actually part of a complex with the Vancouver museum, and you can get combined tickets to both. You also have a choice of tickets for the Space Centre, and these can include entry to the International Space Station display, the VR rides, the planetarium show, and the basic space exhibits.
The main exhibits were quite fun. Some were interactive, and most were aimed at children, of which there were hordes. Try to get to the planetarium show early to avoid the aforementioned kiddies. The show itself was quite interesting, focusing mostly on the development of astronomy for a change.
The VR trip to Mars involves you in a life-saving space mission as well as the special effects and the bumps.
I most enjoyed the International Space Station display, which included a life-size replica of the station and all its gadgets. At the time, the ISS was passing directly overhead Vancouver, and I was able to spot it in the night sky, which quite impressed me.
If you fancy a walk in Vanier Park afterwards, the park is pretty unexciting-- a flat stretch of green alongside the water--but there are a few picnic tables for a sunny day.
From journal Two weeks in Vancouver