Part Three: National Space Centre


Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

In 2018, my son wanted to visit a space museum, so I looked online and came across the National Space Centre. (Leicester). Additionally, he wanted to go to the space centre with his dad and me. Although we are not together, we amicably agreed that it would be good for our son to go on this day out together. Likewise, our partners were comfortable with the day out arrangement too.

Onwards to Leicester.

space shuttle intelsat satellite cradle
Space Shuttle Intelsat Satellite Cradle.

As we arrived at the National Space Centre, we saw this magnificent Space Shuttle Intelsat Satellite Cradle in front of the museum. There was also a pioneer statue at the front.

pioneer statue at national space centre, pioneer statue
pioneer statue.

Here is a photo of my son placing his hands in the handprint mould of an astronaut.

astronaut handprints, astronaut, space
astronaut handprint mould.

I don’t know about you, but I love a fact or two. While looking back at our photos at the National Space Centre, I saw the name Piers Sellers. I instantly thought, ooh, I must know more about this Piers Sellers.

astronaut handprints
astronaut handprints.

So, I went to Wikipedia; (you’ve got to love Wikipedia) to read more about this Nasa astronaut. (shh, I’m a closet geek).

Rocket and Robotics.

We entered the museum, and there was a rocket tower with the rocket: PGM 17 THOR upon us, in all its glory. (“I am mighty”) I had to get an Avengers quote in there somehow. Likewise, shout-out to my dad, all knowledgeable comic guru. Anyhow, there was something that I noticed ahead that I had not seen in a long time.

Test Card F.

test card f, bubbles the clown, test card f with bubbles the clown
test card f with bubbles the clown.

Can you believe it? I did not expect to see Bubbles the Clown at the space centre. Yes, it was the clown doll and the girl on tv. Oh, the days when we only had four tv channels. Also, for the American readers and anyone not old enough to remember Test Card F, this image is what we saw on our tv screen in the morning when no programmes were on tv. (Yes, you heard right kids, no programmes).

test card f
test card f.

I was so excited to inform my son about this. (the look of horror on his face). After showing him this and taking him to the National Museum of Computing years later, he must have thought what a boring childhood I had. (he also found out that loading games on the BBC microcomputer took a long time).

Satellite Navigation and Space Rocks.

space satellite navigation
satellite navigation.

My son, me and his dad continued our tour around the space museum, viewing items such as a space compass, robotics, and satellites for navigation.

There was also a collection of space rocks and meteorites.

So, that was our experience of visiting the National Space Centre in Leicester with our son.

usaf rocket, space rocket
USAF Rocket.

Have you visited any space museums before, and which one?

Coming soon: Next on Blast from the Past Series is Part Four: Hampton Court Palace.

Disclaimer: This post is for information and entertainment purposes; and personal experience. All external links are for information purposes only. The day out mentioned in the blog is on past experiences. (before lockdown) The museum mentioned in this blog is temporarily closed due to lockdown and in line with the government’s guidance. I received no payment or any other compensation for this post.

Another Museum Related Post on the Blog: Ironbridge Gorge Museum.


  1. It’s funny. We live near Houston now but we’re originally from Derby and remember taking our boys to the Space Centre at Leicester before we moved. NASA was one of the first places we visited and it always makes me smile because although Leicester can’t compete with the sheer amazing magnitude of being at NASA, shhh we actually found the exhibits at Leicester more fun 🤭 Thanks for the trip down memory lane 😊