“Nappies ? Spacemen don’t wear nappies,” said my son, an aspiring astronaut.
“Looks like they did do at one time,” I said looking at the astronaut’s undergarments displayed in a glass case in front of me.
“But not now,” he said confidently. “Because in my book it says they have toilets.”
Sure but where do they go for a wee on a space walk?
That, and other pressing questions can be answered at London’s Science Museum. We began our journey in ‘Exploring Space’, an extensive exhibition which includes an astronaut’s space suit, maximum absorbancy garments (the nappies we spoke of earlier), examples of space food and a piece of moon rock.
We journeyed on past Stephenson’s Rocket, an early steam locomotive designed by Robert Stephenson built in 1829 to compete at the Rainhill Trials. It beat its competitors, reaching speeds of up to 29 miles per hour.
It is included in the section ‘Making the Modern World’, an exhibition of original iconic objects that have shaped our lives.
We headed upstairs to ‘Who Am I?’, a fun interactive gallery which looks at the brain and genetics. There were plenty of fun quizzes to get involved with, memory and skills tests suitable for all ages.
My son has been learning about Florence Nightingale, he was fascinated by the display of medical objects that reveal the history of medicine. So much so he was revealing facts to me as we walked around.
I liked the replica of the Montgolfier Balloon, a model of the hot air balloon in which Pilatre de Rozier, a science teacher, and Francois Laurent, the Marquis d’Arlandes, an infantry officer, made the first human flight in history. They flew across Paris on 21st November 1783.
The Science Museum is vast, with exhibits spread across five floors. Its a superb place to come back to time and time again, it is free entry but donations are greatly received to keep these wonderful places open.
The Science Museum, Exhibition Rd London, Greater London SW7 2DD T: 0870 870 4868 Free Entry Nearest Tube: South Kensington