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Report - - Satrosphere, Aberdeen - 9/3/8 | Leisure Sites |

Report - Satrosphere, Aberdeen - 9/3/8

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28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member

Satrosphere in Aberdeen is a place well known to most school age kids, and the slightly older lot who remember it from when they were school age. It is a 'hands on' experience designed to grow an interest in science in kids through a huge range of exhibits demonstrating many different scientific theories and technologies - things like how an arched bridge stays standing, various forms of communication (morse, phone, video...), simple demonstration on things like electricity and gravity and many other things.

It originally opened on Justice Mill lane in 1988, closing its doors in Febuary 2001. Luckily Satrosphere's story hasn't ended there, as the closure was only to facilitate a move to a new home, in which Satrosphere still exists. Today we decided to visit the old site to see what (if anything) remains, and get a few pictures of a place all in our group remembered fondly while we can. The buildings are in a pretty sad state, bird have obviously been roosting and left a fair mess, and the locals have been in a few times to have their usual fun (including one office burnt out).
There are the remains of a few exhibits left behind though, the mission control and shuttle still exist, just stripped of all the electronics, and there are a few other bits and pieces left behind on the main floor.
The most surprising bit was down in the basement which has stacks and stacks of really old scientific equipment and computers, old acorns and floppy drives, signal generators, a bench with a load of microscopes, even an electron microscope and many many other pieces which we didn't identify or I have forgotten the names of, all just old and probably outdated (I was quite happy to find quite a few valve powered pieces). I have no idea what this was all really used for, as I only knew the 'child friendly' front end of the place, and have never heard of any research work other than keeping the exhibits running and creating new ones...

some pictures...

The main hall, where the majority of the different exhibits were.



The workshop next to the main floor, hidden away behind a big set of doors, with wee windows so you could peek through and wander at what was going on there - mainly the repair and upkeep of exhibits.


Mission control - a wee demonstration of some communication technologies, there was a mission control and then at the other end the shuttle, where you could sit in one and talk to the people in the other through morse code, phone and I think later on video.



All the (non functional) switches in the shuttle, now sitting on the floor


The AV room - here there was a small tv studio, where you could sit behind the big desk to read the news or the weather and see yourself on the tv screens


Some of the video decks left behind - presumably if this still exists in the new Satrosphere, it will have been updated with some newer gear.


Some misc pictures from about the main floor and side rooms.






And down to the basement, with the wee boiler room, some bits and pieces from the main floor and the piles of equipment left behind.



Floppy drives and Acorns.



A rather old looking electron microscope


Some more odd computers


A very, very accurate weighing machine, which would have been able to weigh items down to fractions of a gram (taken via the medium of an artsy backlit shot...)


In one way it is really quite sad to see somewhere I have fond memories of in such a state, but at the same time Satrosphere still lives on in its new premises so we haven't really lost the place as we have with many of the big industrial sites or Asylums which have been lost permanently.

I am also still waiting for the trip to the new one that some of my friends promised for my 21st... (and yes, this was a completely serious request by me for my birthday last year :D)