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Science Museum, London

The Science Museum is the most popular museum in London devoted to the world of science. The museum aims to explain how science and technology has shaped our lives. The Science Museum is one of the three major museums in London’s Exhibition Road with the others being the Natural History Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum. Entry to the museum is free.

The Science Museum opened in 1857 and today home to a large collection of more than 300,000 items related to science but around 16,000 items exhibited at any time. The museum is a major attraction with both Londoners and tourists receiving over 3 million visitors each year. The collections are home to world-class exhibits in human ingenuity and achievements including many famous collections in the history of science and technology.

Science Museum by A. Brady

About

The seven-floor Science Museum comprises of several fascinating themed galleries that include permanent and temporary exhibits. There are galleries dedicated to engineering, energy, communications, digital technology, flight, space, bioscience and the environment. Besides the exhibits, there are hundreds of interactive exhibits including those for children aged 3-6 years to play and learn. The IMAX 3D Cinema screens several interesting documentaries on science and nature.

Energy Hall

The Energy Hall in the East Hall is the first area where most visitors enter the Science Museum and extends up to three floors. The ground floor of the gallery tells the story of Britain’s industrial revolution with exhibits of steam engines from the past. There is an exhibit of the oldest James Watt steam engine nicknamed ‘Old Bess’ constructed in 1777. There is also a recreation of James Watt's workshop at Heathfield Hall in Birmingham with over 8,300 objects transferred to the Science Museum.

Making of the Modern World

Making of the Modern World charts over 250 years of science and technology with some of the most iconic exhibits that have shaped modern society. Exhibits include Stephenson's Rocket, an early steam locomotive designed by Robert Stephenson in 1829. There is also Watson and Crick's double helix DNA model and a replica of the Apollo 10 spacecraft. One of the most cherished exhibits at the Science Museum is the remarkable Wells Cathedral clock mechanism, built sometime around 1390 and one of the world’s oldest surviving clock mechanisms.

Stephenson's Rocket by William M. Connolley

Exploring Space

Exploring Space tells the history of space exploration and the benefits derived particularly in the field of telecommunications. The gallery has many fascinating exhibits including rockets, satellites, landers and probes. Hanging from the ceiling are a British Black Arrow carrier rocket and a United States Scout rocket designed to carry small satellites. There is even a full-sized replica of the Eagle lander, which took Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the Moon in 1969. Also, learn how astronauts breathe, eat, drink and even go to the toilet in space.

Apollo 10 by Rodrigo Menezes

Flight

Flight traces the history of flight ever since humans dreamed about flying to achievements in the history of aviation. Full sized aeroplanes and helicopters fill the gallery and some suspended in the air. Exhibits include a cross-section of a Boeing 747, Spitfire and Hurricane fighters used in World War II and the Vickers Vimy used by Alcock and Brown for their transatlantic flight in 1919. There’s an exhibit of the Hawker P1127, an experimental aircraft that led to the development of the Harrier jump-jet fighter aircraft.

Spitfire fighter aircraft by Alan Wilson

Information Age

Information Age explores over 200 years of innovation that transformed global communications particularly in the field of information and communication technologies (ICT). The gallery comprises of six zones describing about the science of communication and information network. Exhibits include an 1858 galvanometer, 1926 experimental television receiver, 1977 videophone, 1962 replica of a Telstar I satellite and a 1985 BBC Micro personal computer.

Vintage computers by Marcin Wichary

Atmosphere

Atmosphere takes you into a virtual world describing how the earth’s climate affects our planet including the ocean, land and atmosphere. The gallery explains how the climate works and takes you back into the history of the earth’s climate to the present. It also predicts about earth’s climate in the future, important issues related to climate change and the developments to respond to the change. The gallery features interactive exhibits and scientific instruments used to study the climate.

Visiting the Science Museum

Admission to the Science Museum is free though the temporary exhibitions may incur an admission fee. The museum opens daily (closes on 24th and 25th December) from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

The nearest London Underground station is South Kensington Station (serving the District, Circle and Piccadilly Lines) and about 5 minutes walk from the museum. A pedestrian subway connects South Kensington Station near the museum’s main entrance. Slightly further is Gloucester Road Station (serving the District, Circle and Piccadilly Lines) and about 15 minutes walk from the museum.

Science Museum on the Map

Exhibition Road, Kensington, London SW7 2DD, UK

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