Venture into outer space at Harwell – Spacescapes

Together with the Geological Society, Harwell Campus has secured a new permanent, outdoor, public exhibition that takes you on a journey through outer space. ‘Spacescapes: postcards from our solar system’, features, high-definition images of the landscapes and geological features seen around the solar system.

The free exhibition will inspire every generation and is open to members of the public from Friday 29th of April at the corner of Eighth Street and Rutherford Avenue roundabout, Harwell Campus.

Take a fascinating journey through space, while you keep your feet firmly on the ground, stopping off to visit the Perseverance rover on Mars, impact craters on the Moon, mountains on Pluto and storms on Jupiter.

The exhibition explores the ways in which understanding Earth can help us uncover the history of planetary bodies across our solar system and beyond. By comparing Earthly geological features with similar vistas found on other planets, we can piece together the history of the solar system and look to answer some of the mysteries of our universe.

Joanna Hart Harwell’s Space Cluster Manager said: “International space missions take many years and multiple partners from across the globe to ensure they are successful and it’s this collaborative approach that has laid the groundwork for a thriving UK space industry.

The Spacescapes exhibition at Harwell allows you to see up close the results of these missions such as the landing of the Perseverance rover on Mars.

“Space plays a pivotal role in our daily lives by monitoring and understanding our world from space and we hope that the exhibition will inspire young people to join the space sector and tackle major issues such as climate change.”

Professor Mike Daly, President of the Geological Society, said: “With something for space explorers of all ages, this exhibition is sure to inspire your curiosity and expand your horizons. Spacescapes is a celebration of how geoscience and an understanding of the natural world allows us to read the landscapes of our neighbouring planets and in doing so learn more about our own planet.

“We’re thrilled to have worked with an incredible international team of scientists, engineers, artists, architects and designers to bring this exhibition to the public. We hope these captivating images will inspire those that visit and spark a curiosity not only about outer space but about the marvel of our own environments here on Earth.”

Professor Sanjeev Gupta, Professor of Earth Science at Imperial College London and science team member on NASA’s Curiosity and Perseverance missions to Mars said:

“Everything we know about landscapes on Earth and in space is rooted in geology. Spacescapes is an exhibition about the wonder of the solar system and our place in it. Taking in these incredible images, which feel both familiar and alien, people can do the work of planetary scientists by comparing and contrasting our home with distant planets and moons. Piecing together clues that reveal the origin and evolution of our universe, you might find yourself more at home in the furthest reaches of our galaxy than you realise!”

The Harwell Space Cluster forms an integral part of the UK’s space sector, including being the front door for international customers, collaborators and inward investors to engage with expertise and capability from across the UK space sector. It is Europe’s most concentrated space cluster with a dynamic range of commercial organisations working alongside stakeholders such as the European Space Agency, UK Space Agency, the Satellite Applications Catapult and the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s RAL Space who also run the UK’s National Satellite Test Facility.

By driving world-leading space research and technology, the cluster is opening doors to the next generation of space discovery and satellite innovations.