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Thursday, May 6, 2021
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Questacon’s ‘Australia in Space’ shoots for the stars

After countless hours behind the scenes preparing for lift off, Questacon has called all systems go on their latest exhibition, Australia in Space.

With an estimated 30,000 jobs set to be created in the Australian space sector over the next decade, the exhibition sets out to inspire the next generation of space enthusiasts and professionals.

Many key actors in the industry, including the Australian Space Agency, have teamed up with Questacon to create the highly interactive exhibition.

Australian Space Agency deputy head, Anthony Murfett, said the exhibition offers insight into Australia’s role in the modern global space sector and makes it tangible for the audience.

“Not everyone has thought about space … What we really want to do is inspire the nation,” he said.

“We helped with the Apollo missions and now Australia can play an ongoing role in the evolving space economy.”

With strong visuals and interactive elements comprising satellites, robotics, rockets and spectacular astronomy photography, Murfett is confident the exhibition will appeal to the desired seven-to-13-year-old demographic.

“Space can really improve all our lives, and if kids can leave this exhibit understanding that, it will put a smile on my face,” he said.

“Even if they go and do something else, at least they’ve got that insight into what Australia can do.”

Questacon concepts and exhibitions manager, Dylan Barker, told Canberra Weekly that Australia in Space is all about the country’s space industry and its contributions to the global sector more broadly.

“We’re having a look at how we get to space, what we’re doing when we’re there and why it’s important and interesting,” he said.

Barker said the exhibition is tailored to primary-school aged children spanning the gamut from wannabe-astronauts to complete newcomers, and their parents.

“A real challenge for us is how do we meet the need of all of those audiences.

“Some of the ways we’ve tried to do that is through a variety of experiences,” he said. “We want to make sure all of our visitors can find an entry point with a variety of different interactives and find something for them to engage with.”

Questacon deputy director and general manager, science and learning, Dr Bobby Cerini, said creating the exhibition involved working hard to distil the incredible knowledge from their various industry partners.

The process involved taking the often dense and complex science behind the latest space innovations and repackaging it in an approachable, digestible and appealing form for children and their parents – effectively making rocket science ‘not rocket science’.

Australia in Space is now on display at Questacon and will be in Canberra for approximately 12 months before touring the country; click here for more.

questacon australia in space Dr Bobby Cerini and Anthony Murfett
Questacon’s Dr Bobby Cerini and the Australian Space Agency’s Anthony Murfett were both excited to open the new Australia in Space exhibition in Canberra.

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