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Sky Show takes audiences back to the Moon

The Hong Kong Space Museum presents its latest Sky Show, "The Moon Revisited", from tomorrow (December 14) to May 22, next year.

As the closest celestial body to the Earth, the Moon is our only natural satellite. The Moon rotates round the Earth which orbits round the Sun. When the Sun, the Earth and the Moon are aligned, the solar eclipse or lunar eclipse will occur. The wax and wane of the Moon is due to the Moon revolving round the Earth and forming different angles with the Sun and the Earth. The gravitational pull from the Moon produces the tides.

In 1609, Italian scientist Galileo, who first used a telescope for observation of the Moon, found it to be full of craters. In September 1959, an unmanned Soviet spacecraft, Luna 2, first landed on the Moon and in October the same year, Luna 3 took a picture of the far side of the Moon for the first time. In April 1961, the Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space. He completed a revolution around the Earth in Vostock 1 and landed safely.

The US launched the Apollo Lunar Programme in the 1960s. It launched many unmanned flights and manned flights round the Earth and Moon and on July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong in Apollo 11 climbed out of the Lunar Module and became the first man to set foot on the Moon.

After Apollo 11, the Americans accomplished five more Moon-landing missions, astronauts were equipped with rovers so that they could survey a wider area. Between 1969 and 1972, a total of 12 astronauts worked on the lunar surface for a total of 300 hours. Together, they collected 382 kilograms of lunar soil for analysis and carried out a number of experiments, tested the soil and measured moon quakes and geothermal heat.

No one has set foot on the Moon since the last Apollo mission in 1972. But in recent years, interest in the Moon has been rekindled in various countries. The US, Europe, Japan and China are all planning lunar expeditions. The US has decided to return to the Moon in 15 years to establish lunar bases for future expeditions to Mars.

"The Moon Revisited" will review the great Moon-landing feat and explore future lunar missions through multi-media and special effects. Moreover, man first landed on the Moon in 1969, yet some people believed that the landing was fake. The show also examines and analyses various conspiracy theories relating to the Moon landings – some people believe the original Moon landing in 1969 was an elaborate hoax.

The 40-minute Sky Show, "The Moon Revisited" will be screened daily at 2.40pm and 6.10pm at the museum's Stanley Ho Space Theatre. There will be an additional screening at 11.10am on Sundays and public holidays. On Christmas Eve and Chinese New Year’s Eve, the museum will close at 5pm. It is closed on Tuesdays (except public holidays) and the first two days of Chinese New Year.

Tickets are available at the Space Museum Box Office and at all URBTIX outlets for $24 (front stalls) and $32 (stalls). Full-time students, senior citizens and people with disabilities will receive a half-price concession.

The Space Museum is located at 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. For further information, call 2721 0226 or visit the museum's website at .

Ends/Tuesday, December 13, 2005

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