The BepiColombo ‘model’: looking beyond the ‘original’

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2022-05-15 10:00:06

02-16-2022 Cite as 10.15180; 221705 Museum practice

This paper examines the role that models and replicas typically play in aerospace museums, which is to use them as references for the original or final product. Using the BepiColombo Structural Thermal Model currently on display at the Science Museum as well as other models in the Exploring Space gallery as examples, this paper argues that looking at models as objects in their own right offers more diverse and inspiring narratives for visitors. It presents opportunities to showcase the complex development process for space technology, uncovers surprising stories, and helps to debunk the traditional narrative of progress and advancement that science and technology museums often adopt. BepiColombo is a joint mission to Mercury developed by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japan Aerospace and Exploration Agency (JAXA).

models, replicas, aerospace museums, museum interpretation, museum display, Science Museum, BepiColombo, Soyuz, object biography

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