Dubai Space Museum
Housed in an architecturally stunning building adorned with poetic Arabic calligraphy, Dubai’s new museum takes visitors to the year 2071 to imagine the scientific advancement humans might achieve almost 50 years from now. It also promotes a future of sustainability and tolerance for different cultures, views, and beliefs.
Visitors are transported to 2071 through exhibitions about outer space resource development, ecosystems and bio-engineering, wellness and spirituality, and more.
1. Orbital Space Station (OSS Hope)
The first stop at the Dubai space museum is a virtual journey aboard the Orbital Space Station – OSS Hope. Developed by Galerija 12, this chapter of the exhibit showcases how research in the space sector will help power humanity to future prosperity.
The experience begins with a realistic space shuttle simulation, complete with bumps and turbulence, as visitors are launched into space. After a docking experience on the OSS Hope, visitors are ushered into its command center.
The OSS Hope simulator shows how people can live in orbit 49 years from now, with the goal of balancing energy, materials and equality for all residents. Amplify Design helped develop the space station architecture and its inner workings for this immersive experience, along with motion design, audio design and -production and software development.
2. Space Station Command Center
Dubai’s new museum is a design marvel that reflects its mission to inspire scientific innovation. The museum is built of stainless steel and glass, with a shape that resembles a human eye looking toward the future. Its 1,024 separate panels are symbolic of the kilobyte, which is the basic unit of digital storage in a computer.
Hazza Al Mansoori will become the UAE’s first astronaut to fly to the International Space Station, joining the elite club of long-duration spaceflight participants. He will train with the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) and work on ISS-based experiments alongside a team of international crew members.
He will also use the UAE’s ground-based communication system to communicate with his ISS colleagues in Arabic. During his stay, he will conduct 15 experiments designed by UAE school students.
3. Space Shuttle Simulation
Located in Chapter 1 of the museum, this is your chance to experience what it’s like to take off in a space shuttle. The simulation is incredibly realistic, with all the sounds and processes followed during real-life take-offs. You can also get aerial views of Dubai and outer space through the panels of the shuttle cab.
Bill Gibson, a former military fighter pilot and a Flight Director who made thousands of approaches in full-motion base simulators, says that the simulation is very accurate in reproducing the Shuttle’s response. The Shuttle feels very stable as you fly it, almost like a huge winged brick. It has a lot of inertia and a joystick that resists hasty or aggressive manoeuvres. Its gimbals also work well. Nevertheless, it’s still the most complicated machine ever built.
4. Life in Space Station
Designed to be a hub for innovation, the museum offers innovative experiences that explore a wide range of issues including the future of space travel and life, the future of ecology, health and wellness, spirituality and more. The exhibitions are curated by some of the world’s best thinkers and scientists to inspire new discoveries and innovations.
Visitors can board a Soyuz rocket in the Hope Mission experience to simulate being launched 600 kilometers above Earth, enabling them to view stunning aerial views of Dubai’s coastline during lift-off. They then dock at the OSS Hope space station and discover how astronauts live there. This exhibition also covers how the station’s latest technology supports daily activities. There’s also a wellness-themed experience that allows visitors to reset themselves using the restorative effects of movement, meditation and water.
5. Space Station Exhibits
The museum has a number of impressive interactive experiences that take visitors far away from home. In one exhibit, they can voyage to a space station that is 600 km above Earth and witness how it could be used to generate clean energy.
Another exhibit shows how a DNA library of all the species that have gone extinct would help scientists to save ecosystems on Earth in 49 years from now. They also showcase how new propulsion technology can allow humanity to colonize the rest of the Solar System and mine asteroids.
The futuristic building—which National Geographic last year called one of the world’s most beautiful museums—was designed by local architecture firm Killa Design and built by UK engineering firm BuroHappold. It was first conceived in 2015 by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai’s ruler and vice president of the UAE.