Stargazers’ delight as dockyard event reveals space secrets

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THE wonders of space were brought down to Earth at a stargazing roadshow.

BBC2 show Stargazing Live stopped off at the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard last night.

OUT OF THIS WORLD From left, friends Charlie Green, Eva Homewood, and Flynn Byrne, all eight from Portsmouth. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (1446-6)

OUT OF THIS WORLD From left, friends Charlie Green, Eva Homewood, and Flynn Byrne, all eight from Portsmouth. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (1446-6)

Visitors, who were allowed in by being selected for free tickets, were given the chance to explore the wonders and mysteries of the solar system and space exploration.

Hundreds of people queued up outside the dockyard to get a look.

Heidi Wicks, 38, of Haslemere Road, in Southsea, brought along her son Flynn Byrne, eight, and his two friends Eva Homewood, and Charlie Green, both eight.

Heidi said: ‘We saw the event advertised and applied for the tickets, so were chuffed to get them.

‘It’s a good age to get children into it and learn more about space. We had fun.’

Flynn, who is a budding astronaut, said he had a good time looking at the telescopes.

He said: ‘I’m really into space and my room at home is decorated in space stuff.

‘I liked looking through the telescopes and found it all interesting – especially looking for planets.’

Various activities, presentations and demonstrations were taking place across the dockyard.

This included a Skype chat with Nasa, inside the Boathouse No 6 cinema.

And in Boathouse No 7, people got to find out what training is needed to become an astronaut.

A Russian space suit costing about £30,000 was also on display, and people were able to have their picture taken alongside it.

Inside Action Stations, visitors got a chance to see a Mars Rover exploration robot, which is similar to those sent to space.

Lynda Nell, 41, came along with her husband Toby, 42, daughter Rebecca, 12, and son James, eight.

Mrs Nell, of Holst Way, Waterlooville, said: ‘The whole family is interested in the subject, so we decided to come along.

‘It’s not every day you get a chance to see such things so closely, and understand how it works.

‘We had a great time and enjoyed the opportunity.’

BBC presenters were giving talks and demonstrations.

There was also a performance from the Portsmouth Military Wives Choir.