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Last Updated:  Saturday, 5 April, 2003, 12:42 GMT 13:42 UK
Space exhibit first for city
Automated space transfer vehicle
The automated space transfer vehicle in action in space.
A scale model of a spaceship not seen before in the UK is the star attraction at an exhibition that has opened in Cardiff.

It is the first time the automated space transfer vehicle, known as a space tug, has been shown to the public anywhere in Europe outside of the Netherlands.

It forms part of the World of Tugs exhibition being held at three adjacent venues in Cardiff Bay.

Other attractions include the historic tug Golden Cross, which was found in mud at Portsmouth Harbour, and has since been restored by Stuart and Suzie White who work and live on board.

Space suite
The space suite used on the Apollo 12 mission

A space room has been created to house the space tug, on loan from the European Space Agency, at the exhibition centre at The Tube.

There are also displays about other space organisations including NASA and the Japanese Space Agency and visitors can see a space suit used on the Apollo 12 mission in 1969.

Also at The Tube is an opportunity to learn about work and life in Cardiff Docks in a new photographic display.

A large marquee alongside houses displays on Cardiff Bay's waterside lifestyle and modern maritime links.

International Sports Village

The Golden Cross, which is moored nearby, will be open to the public at weekends and Bank Holidays and during the week by special arrangement.

Visiting ships and naval aircraft will provide an additional attraction at weekends.

Captain White said: "We would like to thank the International Sports Village and Cardiff Council for all their support and assistance in making this unique event possible.

"We are delighted to have been able to introduce Cardiff to the international space organizations."

Cardiff Council cabinet member Marion Drake said: "This exhibition is very much centred on the wider world of tugs and their links to Cardiff's maritime history.

"I would urge residents and visitors to take full advantage of this opportunity, which will educate and enthral the whole family."

The exhibition runs until 15 May.

Admission is free and opening times are Monday to Friday, 9.30am - 6 pm (Visitor Centre and Marquee only) and Saturday and Sunday, 10.30am - 6pm (Visitor Centre, Marquee and Golden Cross).

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