Having closed for more than seven months for a large-scale renovation, the Hong Kong Space Museum's Stanley Ho Space Theatre will reopen on July 1 with a completely new look.
The Curator of the Space Museum, Mr Chan Ki-hung, said today (June 23), "The $34 million renovation project includes a new digital planetarium projector and seats installed with a multi-language and interactive system.
"With a resolution exceeding 53 million pixels, the new digital planetarium system boasts the highest resolution in a theatre. Only two theatres in the world, Beijing Planetarium and the Hong Kong Space Museum, can project such ultra-high definition images. Coupled with Sony's latest SXRD projectors, which were introduced to the market in early 2009, the Space Museum is one of the most advanced digital planetariums in the world.
"The new system can project full dome animations or movies, which could not be achieved by the old projector. Audiences can gaze at the starry sky at any time and from any place in the universe. They can also fly to a star or other celestial object and view it in a rendered 3D model. They can even fly to the end of the observable universe and study the large-scale structure of the universe.
"The new seats are installed with a multi-language system offering narration in more than four languages for a show. The newly designed display unit installed on the armrest of the seat allows individual viewers to select languages and use the interactive features, such as sending short messages among audience members and taking part in real-time games. The installation of a wireless headphone system makes it more convenient and comfortable for the audience to use," Mr Chan said.
He added that two new Sky Shows, "Extreme Planets" and "Dawn of the Space Age", and one Omnimax Show, "The Alps", would be showing from July 1 at the newly renovated Space Theatre.
The 41-minute Sky Show, "Dawn of the Space Age", brings to life the excitement of the early days of space exploration and chronicles the major milestones of the space age: from the historic launch of the first artificial satellite "Sputnik 1", man's heroic entry into space, the thrilling first spacewalk, the magnificent lunar landings, to the recent privately operated space flights. This show will be screened from July 1 to December 31. Show schedules are 2.40pm and 6.10pm daily with an additional screening at 11.10am on Sundays and public holidays.
Another Sky Show, "Extreme Planets", will explore what makes a planet "Earth-like", and take an immersive all-dome tour of several worlds that just might fit the conditions we are looking for. From water worlds to molten landscapes, inhabitable moons to planets with multiple suns, these exotic worlds are no longer mere science fiction. This 35-minute show will be screened from July 1 to October 31 at 12.20pm, 3.50pm and 7.20pm daily.
The 45-minute Omnimax Show, "The Alps", will take audiences to scale the Eiger, a mountain in the Swiss Alps, with three climbers. Not only will audiences experience the thrill of climbing, but they will also be able to appreciate the stunning scenery and learn about the culture of the region. It will be screened from July 1 to August 31 at 1.30pm, 5pm and 8.30pm daily.
The Space Theatre of the museum is closed on Tuesdays (except public holidays). Tickets are available at the Space Museum box office and at all URBTIX outlets for $24 (front stalls) and $32 (stalls). A half-price concession is available for senior citizens aged 60 and above, full-time students and people with disabilities.
To help members of the public to observe the partial solar eclipse with magnitude 0.75 visible in Hong Kong on July 22, a solar viewer will be given free of charge to every purchase of a ticket for the Sky Show or Omnimax show from July 1 to 21 this year.
The Space Museum is located at 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. For more information, visit the website at http://hk.space.museum/ or call 2721 0226.
Ends/Tuesday, June 23, 2009