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Superhero satellites take centre stage at Life 

Family in Life Science Centre planetarium sitting down to watch new Earth Defenders show.
Life's iconic logo is featured at the entrance to the science centre.

Life communications


The talented in-house team at Life Science Centre has produced a stunning new planetarium show that throws the spotlight on a team of superhero satellites defending Earth from above. 

Earth Defenders! has been written and produced by the team that created the acclaimed What Santa Sees show. 

Over a quarter of a million individual frames make up the animated show, which is projected across the 360-degree domed Planetarium, providing a unique, immersive experience. Life’s Planetarium is the largest in the North and uses the most advanced technology available for high-resolution visuals and superb sound quality. 

Part funded by the UK Space Agency as part of their Our World from Space programme, Earth Defenders!  features five sentinels of the sky – asteroid detector NEOWISE, friend of the forest Biomass, inspector of ice and oceans CryoSat-2, warden of the weather MetOp and global guider Galileo.  

The characters, and names, are based on real satellites orbiting the Earth. Together they are tasked with seeing off threats, from asteroids to climate change, in this retro 1980s style show, which launches now at Life. 

“We are incredibly proud of our team for creating such an innovative and captivating show. Earth Defenders! takes viewers on an extraordinary journey through space, showcasing how satellites play a crucial role in everyday life, from weather forecasting to global communications and environmental monitoring. 

“It takes what can be a dry subject and makes it accessible, engaging and educational. Visitors will get a real sense of the importance of satellite technology in our daily lives.” 


Linda Conlon, Chief Executive at Life

The UK Space Agency’s Our World from Space project is a two-year national STEM programme, where Life has joined forces with 21 other UK science centres, to explore the relevance of UK space science for the future health and sustainability of our home planet. 

“As someone who uses satellites in their research into the Earth’s rapidly changing polar regions, I’m thrilled that Life are showing visitors how important satellites are and are making them accessible to a younger audience. At CPOM we’re especially excited to see our favourite satellite, Cryosat-2, brought to life!”

Sammie Buzzard, assistant professor at Northumbria University and a principal investigator at the Centre for Polar Observation (CPOM) is featured in the new show

Other new additions to the Life programme for visitors include a new live show with exciting demonstrations. The Great North Time Machine celebrates iconic local inventions, such as George Stephenson’s Geordie Lamp for miners, while exploring what could be the big ideas of the future. 

Other centre highlights include the Experiment Zone (age restrictions apply) where you can be a real scientist for the day; hands-on exhibits in the Wow Zone; and for younger ones, the revamped Play Zone, which includes an outdoor marketplace and a coastal mural area, complete with a boat and a lighthouse. 

All shows, activities and exhibitions are included in the admission price. Life has been independently rated best in England for visitor experience. 

For more details visit our what’s on page.

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