A NEW space exhibition has launched at Newcastle’s Life Science Centre and there are hopes it will inspired the region’s children to aim for a stellar scientific career.

Officially launched by Britain’s first astronaut Helen Sharman, Space Zone brings space exploration to life by inviting visitors to launch their own rockets, climb inside a mock-up model of part of the International Space Station, touch a genuine moon rock and watch informative shows on a digital globe.

Guests can also discover how space technology is already used in our everyday lives, learn how the future of space exploration is being shaped in the North-East and find out about role models working in the space sector.

More than 150 scientists, engineers and space experts, including academics from Northumbria University’s department of sport, exercise and rehabilitation, helped develop the attraction.

Astronaut Rehab is an interactive area of Space Zone that showcases the human spaceflight research conducted in Northumbria’s Aerospace Medicine and Rehabilitation (AMR) Laboratory – a world leader the field of spinal changes and back pain rehabilitation in astronauts – which is led by ​Professor Nick Caplan.

Linda Conlon, chief executive of Life, said: “There is an enormous variety of space careers in the UK and one of the main purposes of our exhibition is to get young people thinking about how they might aspire to be part of that.

“We have our fair share of challenges in the region, with lower levels of attainment in science than national average. Life is also situated very close to some areas of extreme social deprivation where kids don’t think that science is for them, let alone a career linked to something as exciting as space science. So, we have a big job to do, and this new Space Zone is going to help us do it.”