Video: Explore the final frontiers of space

Young visitors to a star attraction can explore the final frontiers of space – and beyond.

American astronaut Michael Fossum has praised the "awesome" range of facilities on offer at The Star Centre, which has just opened at Leeds City College.

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Located at the college's Keighley campus, the centre boasts everything from spectacular new planetarium the Cosmodome to a 360-degree cinema, where films about space travel totally surround the audience.

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An Astrobotics area, complete with exploratory vehicles, offers students the chance to find out more about controlling and driving robots.

Visitors can also take a stroll on a Mars-type "Planetary Landscape",

which is designed to be as close as possible to the real thing.

The "Stellarium" offers night sky and astronomy shows and there is an up-to-date mission control with live NASA feeds, plus a specialist interactive space hub to excite and engage young people in science-related subjects.

US astronauts Michael Fossum and Dr Karen Nyberg addressed 300 young students on their visit and staff hope it will prove to be a favourite mission for school groups and youth organisations, such as Cubs and Scouts.

Centre manager Ray Barber said: "The Star Centre has been hugely popular already and with all the new technological developments on-site now, we are hoping its appeal will take off further.

"We welcome school groups and in the months and years ahead we also hope it will be an ideal venue for corporate team building and similar events."

Currently open during the week to schools, there are now plans to develop the Star Centre into a public visitor attraction as part of tourist development in the area.

Under the proposals, opening hours will be extended over the weekends for visits from members of the public, community groups and organisations as well as corporate bookings.

The centre has also started running space-related short courses such as astronomy.

For more information, visit www.starcentre.org.uk or call 01535 685167.

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