Spaceflight in Popular Culture
Writers, artists and filmmakers have been dreaming of journeys to the Moon and to the planets and stars beyond since long before the first rocket was launched. Some of the world’s greatest technical minds were even inspired by their works to pursue spaceflight in real life. To this day, popular culture inspires us to push the boundaries of space exploration.
Embark on a mission into space.
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Travel with us through the realm of the stars. No matter what the outside weather, with state-of-the-art technology we will conjure up an impressive starry sky on the dome of our planetarium. Experience an unforgettable space walk from the comfort of your armchair.
A whole universe of facts and fun awaits at the Swiss Museum of Transport’s space exhibition. One of the most exciting exhibits is the ESA research platform EURECA (short for European Retrievable Carrier), which is one of the rare few unmanned space vehicles that have been returned to Earth intact. See it at the exhibition, displayed with its solar panels fully deployed for the very first time. The main interactive attraction is the “Space Transformer”, a cube with a twist: visitors can get inside while it rotates around its diagonal axis, giving them a feel for how “up” and “down” become relative terms in a space station. Three rovers have been reproduced in a Martian landscape in their original sizes, while a series of display cabinets tells the story of spaceflight since its very beginnings. Other topics to explore at the exhibition include the Space Race, lunar exploration and deep space.
Im Filmtheater zeigen wir den Film "Journey to Space". Journey to Space taps into our unquenchable drive to explore and discover what lies beyond, a vision certain to inspire today’s young explorers and dreamers. This is the time for our species, in the words of Carl Sagan, to “set sail across the cosmic ocean.” Next stop… Mars!
Just as difficult to imagine as the distance to far-away galaxies is the amount of time that has passed since the universe was born. Astrophysicist Professor Ben Moore is attempting to make these time scales comprehensible to us. Atomic clocks are incredibly accurate and play an important role in spaceflight, for instance in avigation satellites. The more accurate the clock, the more precisely the position can be determined.
So far, the only things to venture beyond the Moon have been probes: unmanned space vehicles that send photographs and scientific data back to Earth while they fly past planets, orbit them or even land on them. The Rosetta mission went a step further, becoming the first mission to place a lander on a comet. The CHEOPS (Characterizing Exoplanets Satellite) project is the first ESA mission to be led by Switzerland and plans to use a telescope to study planets outside our solar system, known as exoplanets.
For decades, humans have dreamed about visiting Mars or even settling on the planet permanently. However, it’s still not certain when the first humans will be able to embark on the long and dangerous journey. We must first concentrate on sending remote-controlled or semi-autonomous rovers to explore the red planet on our behalf.
What do people do in space, and how do they prepare themselves for it? To find out, visitors can explore a replica of one of the modules of the International Space Station (ISS), a control centre with live and recorded data from space and a whole array of experiment equipment. The Multi-Axis Trainer is a kind of simulator that American astronauts in the Mercury programme used in the early 1960s to condition themselves to the tumbling motions that might occur during an emergency situation in flight.
In a space station, “up” and “down” are relative terms. The “Space Transformer” is a rotating cube that visitors can get inside to discover what it’s like when the floor becomes the ceiling and vice versa. This interactive attraction is accompanied by a number of original objects belonging to Swiss astronaut Claude Nicollier, as well as several other exhibits that illustrate what living in space is like.
The rocket is the definitive symbol of spaceflight. It enables us to overcome the Earth’s gravity and launch ourselves into space, which begins 100 km above the Earth’s surface according to the international definition. A variety of models tell the story of the rocket.
In the 1950s and 1960s, the world’s superpowers battled to achieve milestones in spaceflight ahead of their rivals. The Soviet Union won the race to build the first satellites and send the first people into space, while the USA was the first – and ultimately the only – nation to put humans on the Moon. The Moon is still the subject of much research today.
The space exhibition is home to original spacecraft and objects – including some that have even gone into space, such as the European research platform EURECA – as well as full-size replicas of artefacts such as the SwissCube satellite.
The timeline is filled with photos, films and objects that show how spaceflight has changed over the years and what it might look like in the near future. It is being constantly updated with new features.
Over the decades, astronauts, cosmonauts and other leading figures in spaceflight have visited the Museum of Transport. Some have held talks or have immortalised their thoughts in the guestbook and some have even left behind a handprint. We look forward to welcoming more distinguished visitors to the museum.