Next year, i.e. 2022, will be India’s 75th year of independence and on this occasion of India’s Platinum Jubilee of Independence, the country’s first space museum is inaugurated in Kolkata. The first such space museum will open to the general public in January next year. The museum could have been inaugurated by the end of this year, but work on it has occasionally been interrupted due to the Covid situation.
The space museum is built on one floor of a 5-story building under construction on part of Indian Center for Space Physics (ICSP) of 36,000 square feet on the eastern metropolitan ring road, a stone’s throw from Jyotirindra Nandi metro station. The Indian Center for Space Physics (ICSP) is an Indian non-profit research organization dedicated to carrying out advanced research in astronomy, astrophysics and space science. It is a sister institute of the University of Calcutta.
The government of West Bengal has provided 4 million rupees for the construction of the museum grounds and its infrastructure.
The next space museum in Kolkata will be full of space objects. Sandeep mentioned a few special ones in his collection. One of them is part of the Rock of Mars, which crashed in 2016 in Northwest Africa. Sandeep recovered the 5.6 gram portion of this rock. One of the components is oxides of iron and titanium.
The museum is also home to a huge meteorite that struck 50,000 years ago in the American desert of Arizona. The meteorite hit a huge hole in Arizona.
The museum also houses the rock fragments from the moon that struck Mali in Africa in 2016. Weighing 111 grams, the body of the moon rock is made of materials like iron, nickel, aluminum.