The Space Elevator

© Alan Chan and the Space Elevator Visualization Group

English
12/26/2013

The Museum of Technology is looking into the vastness of space

“We want to be a hands on museum again,” said Gabriele Zuna-Kratky, director of the Technisches Museum Wien. The Space exhibit is a perfect example.

Founded by Emperor Franz Josef 104 years ago, the Technisches Museum Wien was originally a place of innovation, where the latest inventions were displayed and inventors presented their creations. In the decades after that, it became a collection where some objects were archived and others were exhibited. For some time now, the museum has been working to establish itself as a place of innovation. “We not only have a platform to look back, but also one to look into the future,” said director Gabriele Zuna-Kratky.

Record-breaking robots exhibit

The robots exhibit Men and Machine? that was extended to December brought a record 316,000 visitors to the Technisches Museum this year. The new exhibit was opened on Thursday and is titled Space. Visitors can not only view a Galileo satellite, but can also drive a full-scale model of a Mars rover through a Martian landscape.

The director of Technisches Museum Wien, Gabriele Zuna-Kratky, expects the Space exhibit will bring another flock of visitors like the robots exhibit, which is on display until the end of December. – Photo: Franz Gruber

“Up until now, we had relatively few items to exhibit about space,” Zuna-Kratky said. Since space has always been the top visitor suggestion for themes, the museum decided to create this exhibit.

Astronaut food and a gyroscope

The museum will be showing the original third stage of an ELDO Europa rocket, and visitors will be able to try out a gyroscope for people. Displays also include the well-known “astronaut food,” space sleeping bags, and the space suit of the only Austrian to go into space to date, Franz Viehböck. The exhibit architecture was created by liquifer, and the space architect Barbara Imhof was also involved in the design.

Zuna-Kratky is also interested in space herself. “I was so enthralled by the stories I heard from an astronaut that I thought I also want to go to space.” But she would not buy herself a ticket to space or to the moon. “I couldn’t afford it.” She would go on a parabolic flight, though. Zuna-Kratky is skeptical about life on Mars: “It’s a nice idea, but I don’t believe in it.”

Hands-on museum

“We want to be a hands on museum again,” said Gabriele Zuna-Kratky, and work is already under way on future themes. “Visitors are interested in themes involving people.” One such theme is health; the heart surgery that was performed by a robot and broadcast live to the museum generated enormous interest.

Transportation exhibit

The next theme after the Space exhibit will be transportation. Zuna-Kratky: “Transportation is an emotionally charged topic that everyone has an interested in. So the crucial topic of mobility, from locomotives and motor vehicles to electric cars, will be a key topic next year, including the building of a new, interactive traffic zone.

futurezone.at is a media partner of the Space exhibit at the Technisches Museum Wien