Between the first rickety flight of aviation pioneers the Wright brothers, and Neil Armstrong’s historic giant leap for mankind on the Moon, is a gap of just 66 years. And yet, despite the mind-boggling speed with which humanity went from earthbound to astronomical, the Apollo program, which took the first people to the lunar surface, was cancelled just over a year after its inaugural Moon landing. These extraordinary feats of engineering and courage had become too passé to hold the public’s attention.
Well, for anyone still under the illusion that space is boring, a new immersive exhibition is ready to prove that there’s nothing dull about space exploration. Presented by M-Live and created by NEC Partners, the projection virtuosos behind the wildly successful Van Gogh Alive exhibition that delighted Sydneysiders earlier this year, this dazzling light show will transport you on a planet-hopping odyssey through our solar system, including visiting Mars, Venus, Pluto and Jupiter, without you ever having to leave the ICC in Darling Harbour.
In orbit around these cosmic projections, visitors can find real space paraphernalia from notable missions including spacesuits supplied by NASA, as well as model spacecraft and interactive touchscreen displays for an even more detailed journey through the cosmos. While the exhibition has toured internationally, with more than a million people worldwide having seen the show to date, the Sydney shows are some five times larger than any previous production of Neighbourhood Earth and feature some exhibits that have never before been on display to the public.
While people in the early '70s may have become bored with jaunts to the Moon, humanity has never stopped looking to the stars. In the last few years, commercial space companies have accelerated the speed of space exploration, and we now stand on the brink of new era of spaceflight, in which regular folks like you and I will be able to take to the stars. Until then, this out-of-this-world exhibition is the next best thing.
The Australian premiere of Neighbourhood Earth will have a limited season at the ICC, Darling Harbour, from November 19 to January 31. Tickets are $25-$45 per person, and are on sale now.