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Artist's impression of Ashford International Space Science and Discovery Centre, observatory and planetarium released by Ashford Astronomical Society

13 May 2014
by Suz Elvey

A computer-generated image of Ashford’s future space centre has been released... to fire people’s imaginations while detailed drawings of the multimillion pound building are produced.

The rough image of Ashford International Space Science and Discovery Centre has been posted on Ashford Astronomical Society’s website, where a caption states it is “just an early concept sketch” of what the centre near Romney Marsh might look like when it’s built.

Today the society chairman revealed work is well under way in the bid to get the space centre with research observatory and 200-seat planetarium open within the next three years.

Might Ashford International Space Science and Discovery Centre look like this

Might Ashford International Space Science and Discovery Centre look like this?

Ashford Astronomical Society chairman Drew Wagar

Ashford Astronomical Society chairman Drew Wagar

Speaking exclusively to the Kentish Express, Drew Wagar said: “This is very much a thought-processing model that won’t represent the real thing.

“In the next couple of months we will have an architect onboard to draw up decent models that represent the real centre.”

Mr Wagar said telescope and high-tech machinery manufacturers have been talking to the society about getting involved, as have companies that make children’s play equipment and could help with Science Museum-style hands-on exhibits for youngsters.

The moon. Picture Steve Welstead

The moon. Picture: Steve Welstead

The chairman said the space centre may feature solar panels and wind turbines to make it eco-friendly and an effort would be made to make the building blend in with the surrounding countryside.

Earlier this month we exclusively revealed the society had already put in funding bids for the ambitious project, which will take advantage of some of the darkest skies in the south east.

Telescopes at the centre could be used remotely by scientists all over the world, schools and groups would be able to have classes there, and it would have state-of-the-art cinema and conference facilities.

Find out more about the Ashford Astronomical Society here

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