Aaron Ludmer

This museum's focus is on the human exploration of space, and made for a very interesting rainy Saturday. Located along Autoroute des Laurentides (Laval, Quebec) the Cosmodome is made up of two sections - the Space Camp (which requires reservations) and the Space Science Centre. The Space Camp has a variety of programs for all ages, ranging in duration from half a day to a five-day/night program aimed at children. It has a full-scale replica of the Endeavour space shuttle and for the longer duration programs there are simulations, practice missions, satellite repair with the Canadarm and even a little space food. There is also a free one-day program for teachers who are also entitled to free admission to the Space Science Centre.

Admission to the Space Science Centre includes a 20-minute presentation called "Reach for the Stars" which is a brief but very well done presentation on the highlights of human invention and development helping us reach into space. It is viewed in a spherical theatre with the audience sitting on a moving platform. The rest of the Space Science Centre is a self-guided tour of various sections of the museum that show the effect of space on humans, the progress of telecommunications and satellites, remote sensing, and of the displays and interactive exhibits to learn about the Earth, the Moon and our solar system. There is even a piece of lunar rock on display which was brought back to Earth by the crew of Apollo 15.

I cannot comment on the Space Camp since I only had a quick view of a section of the Space Camp. But there were many hands-on activities for the participants and the kids seemed to be enjoying themselves! What the Space Science Centre lacked in detailed information it made up for with its visual presentation. There were plenty of interactive demonstrations to show the effects of a vacuum on sound vibrations, the effect of space on balance and many other effects found in space. There was also a number of large model rockets from the past and present, including rockets from Japan, Europe the U.S. and Russia. Although space is not without commercialism, it's curious that the only way to get out of the Space Science Centre once finished the tour is through the museum's store...

Cosmodome (and Space Camp Canada)
2150 Autoroutes des Laurentides
Laval, Quebec

Information: (514) 978-3600
Reservation for Space Camp programs: 1-800-565-CAMP or (514) 978-3615

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