Hong Kong Space Museum
Image of the museum, with the planetarium (left) and the main building (right)
|Location||10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong|
|Public transit access||Tsim Sha Tsui Station|
|Hong Kong Space Museum|
The Hong Kong Space Museum is an astronomy and space science museum located in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong. Opening in 1980, it is managed by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department of the Hong Kong Government. The building is notable for its hemispherical shape, which contains a planetarium, the only one in Hong Kong. The main facilities of the museum are located in a building next to the planetarium, showcasing information about the Solar System, cosmology, and spaceflight.
Accessible from Salisbury Road, it is adjacent to the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, the Hong Kong Museum of Art, and the Tsim Sha Tsui Clock Tower. The Hong Kong Science Museum and the Hong Kong Museum of History are also located in Tsim Sha Tsui.
The Space Museum regularly holds various types of astronomical exhibitions and lectures. It is also open to schools, groups and the public. It has been nicknamed the "pineapple bun" (菠蘿包) due to its shape.
The idea of a planetarium was originally proposed in 1961 by the Urban Council. Ten years later, the Urban Services Department (USD) set up a working group to study overseas experience in establishing planetariums. The study was aimed at laying the groundwork for setting up the future Hong Kong Space Museum. The Hong Kong Government decided to build the museum at Tsim Sha Tsui and invited Mr. Joseph Liu to serve as Planetarium Advisor.
Construction commenced in 1977 and the museum opened on 8 October 1980. The museum contained the world's first computerized planetarium. In the 2008-2009 financial year, there were about 590,000 visits to the museum.
In 2015, in order to carry out renovation work, the exhibition hall in the Sky Hall was closed on October 5 and reopened on April 25, 2018.
The museum has two wings: east wing and west wing. The former consists of the nucleus of the museum's planetarium, which has an egg-shaped dome structure. Beneath it are the Stanley Ho Space Theatre, the Hall of Space Science, workshops and offices. The west wing houses the Hall of Astronomy, the Lecture Hall, a gift shop and offices.
The planetarium's egg-shaped dome covers more than 8,000 square metres, making it a famous landmark in Hong Kong. It was the first local planetarium for the popularisation of astronomy and space science. The computerized star imager in the Sky Gallery of the Space Museum is capable of simulating the sky through optical principles, projecting 8,000 stars onto the hemisphere screen of the Planetarium.
There is also a mockup of the nose and cockpit section of the Space Shuttle orbiter.
Hong Kong Space Museum has two thematic exhibition halls: the Hall of Space Science and the Hall of Astronomy on the ground and first floors respectively. The exhibits, predominantly interactive, enable visitors to learn through a series of entertaining and educational experiences.
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