Review: The National Space Centre launches new ‘CAPCOM GO! The Apollo Story’ show
By Perry Johnson
Few things elicit as much awe and wonder in people as the cosmos, and since the dawn of time mankind has looked to the stars for inspiration.
Now, in what is the 50-year anniversary of mankind’s first steps on the moon, the National Space Centre in Leicester today (SAT, APR 6) launched its new ‘CAPCOM GO! The Apollo Story’ show, highlighting the achievements of the Apollo missions, and just how far we have come.
Showcasing in the centre’s Sir Patrick Moore Planetarium, the largest one in the UK, the show sits centrally, surrounded by six interactive galleries on space exploration and the national attraction’s 42-metre high Rocket Tower.
The show is information heavy, delivering a full and concise history of NASA’s Apollo missions that spans from the earliest days of the space race right through to the final lunar landing; but the breath-taking visuals and clean animation are enough to maintain engagement throughout.
Having been professionally crafted over a one year period by the National Space Centre’s own NSC Creative team, their specialised 15-year experience in creating an immersive media experience shines throughout the show through their varied use of explanatory info-graphics, old voice recordings and the weightless feeling audience members can expect from the sweeping shots of space.
Some particularly noteworthy and stunning visuals came halfway through the showcase, as high definition footage of an Apollo Mission rocket breaking apart and blasting off into orbit filled the 360 degree planetarium, and eliminated any notion of a midpoint lull.
Aside from highlighting historical achievements of space exploration, the show also looks to the future and solidifies the centre and its creative team’s aims at inspiring the next generation.
Paul Mowbray, Director of NCS Creative, said: “What better way to celebrate 50 years since one of the greatest achievements in human history than by introducing a new generation to the immense challenges the team overcame with the aims of inspiring our visitors to become the explorers, designers, engineers, thinkers and dreamers of the future.”
Finishing the show with an interactive display showcasing photographs of audience members in spacesuits does just this; and a look into the contributions of female mathematicians and programmers only emphasises it, giving young girls in particular a source of inspiration and aspiration.
In fact, what this show does so well is expand beyond Neil Armstrong stepping foot on the moon, and instead explores the many contributions that went into his achievement from behind the scenes.
At times, a deluge of old photographs flood the immense screen – so much so that it is impossible to view them all in one sitting; but all this goes to show is just how many different hands played a part in the landing.
Kicking off a full programme of celebrations in the Easter holiday period, the CAPCOM GO! show is the perfect starting point for anyone interested in space, and with events such as a dinner with members of the team behind the Apollo 10 launch lined up, it’s not one to miss out on.