Nine-year-old Akshay Krishna was seen extensively taking pictures of the models and exhibits at the Space Festival in Bharathiar University here on Monday.

A fourth standard student of International School of Tanganika in Tanzania, little Akshay, very interested in the activities of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), had travelled with his mother from Erode to visit the Space Festival. He is in Erode for a month enjoying his school vacation.

A space enthusiast, it was the supersonic missiles of the BrahMos, which caught his fancy.

There were many like him, young and old, mostly school students, visiting the festival for a feel of the space experience.

The Space Festival aims to create awareness about space science among students.

The indoor stadium and the adjacent building housing the Department of Biotechnology housed the models, big and small, of almost nine scientific organisations. University students and representatives from the organisations were present to interact with the student-visitors on the projects and models displayed.

Not only the huge BrahMos missiles and combat tanks of the DRDO, but the simple balloon launching and aero modelling held the attention of the visitors.

Digital planetarium

A special attraction was the digital planetarium. With a 8.8 metre diameter dome vis-à-vis the conventional 15 metre one, the 15-minute presentation was also removed from the conventional. While the conventional one had a rectangular display, the digital one merged with the whole curvature and gave a 3D effect within the whole dome.

The afternoon saw special lectures and sessions by experts from the scientific organisations. On the whole, the festival will have 21 events.

Nearly 40,000 schoolchildren and individuals are expected to visit in the next five days.

To avoid over-crowding and enable easy access, the university has given specific timings for each school. Public can also visit and entry is free. The festival is on till July 14. Free transportation is available from Gandhipuram bus stand and Railway Station.