Some of the models on display.
A visit from Te Awamutu Playcentre.
About the Space Museum Project
The space museum is a privately-funded project run by Dave Owen and his family. As of 2011 it's in the early stages of development, being not much more than a bunch of wall displays in a reasonably large office. The modest collection of memorabilia is interesting enough but it's a long way from being "museum quality"—something we don't expect to happen for a long time. Perhaps the most interesting thing we're working on is our spaceflight simulator, but again, it's in the very early stages.
Currently, the only real service we offer is group bookings for Dave's space shows (see below). However we are opening up the room for World Space Week (October 4th-10th 2011) so you can come for a visit, have a look at what we're doing and have a chat about space. Please book in advance - phone Dave on 07-870-1966 or 0274-448-621.
Venue & Location
The Space Room is in Te Awamutu, about half an hour south of Hamilton, New Zealand. We can give you directions when you book.
The venue itself is a single room, 9 x 7 metres. This room serves as both a video production studio and space presentation room, so if you're interested in digital media you might also like to have a chat about that while you're here. If we've been using the studio we do need about half an hour to switch "modes", i.e. get the cameras and lights out of the way so you can see the space stuff.
Collection & Exhibits
At this stage the collection is very small and mostly made up of plastic models and home-made items, but we do have some genuine historic artifacts including a cue card that was used in space aboard the Apollo 9 mission. We also have a wish-list of things we need, so feel free to buy us a present :)
We take group bookings of up to 30 people for Dave's live space presentations. Pick one of the standard shows or ask for a customized talk on any space-related topic.
We have two telescopes that are occasionally used for public viewing: A 12" Dobsonian and a 4" Newtonian. However, for a good telescope viewing experience we recommend going to the Hamilton Observatory — you'll see some much nicer views through their excellent telescopes (including the big 24" in the dome).
Much to his disappointment, Dave Owen isn't an an astronaut or professional astronomer. In fact he has no relevant qualifications, he's just a dedicated amateur. His interests include all areas of astronomy and cosmology, as well as the space program which he's followed since childhood in the 1970s.
Dave is currently president of the Hamilton Astronomical Society, where he helps on public nights by operating telescopes and giving talks.
You can visit Dave's personal website at dave.co.nz