Travel: Getting to Grips With the Planet

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SOME OF the most prominent Millennium Projects are concerned with understanding the Earth, and the Universe. Each one in this selection is given a parallel from the world of television to help you get a better idea of what they're on about: if the Earth Centre, left, were a TV programme, it would be The Good Life. You get the picture.

National Space Science Centre: This space odyssey in Leicester opens in February 2001. "The design of the building will make imaginative use of an imaginative site and will include a tower which will house real rockets." One of the components is imaginatively called the Millennium Dome. If it were a TV programme, the NSSC would be Star Trek. More details: 0116-285 6734,

International Centre for Life: Newcastle-upon-Tyne becomes home to "a totally new way of looking at life" in April 2000, incorporating a motion simulator, virtual reality and live theatre. If it were a TV programme, it would be Blake's 7. Contact: 0191-261 6006 or

The National Discovery Centre: "The concept is built around the rapid growth in IT, broadcasting and multimedia, linked with public discovery." The centrepiece of this Liverpool attraction is a Space Time Machine, intended to educate and entertain on the history of time. If it keeps to time, the place will open in December 2001. If it were a TV programme, it would be Doctor Who. More details: 0151-709 6271.

The Eden Project: "A world-class landmark project that will demonstrate and explore the relationship between plants and humans" and, from April 2000, will handily occupy a worked-out clay-pit near St Austell, Cornwall. Four distinct environments - desert, rainforest, Mediterranean and temperate - will feature appropriate fauna. If it were a TV programme, it would be Gardeners' World. Call 01726 222 900, or

Discovery Centre: "The Midlands' project to celebrate the year 2001 and beyond", assuming it opens on schedule in autumn of that year. In Birmingham, Nicholas Grimshaw is designing a flagship building for the manufacturing heart of the country. Science and technology combine with the region's industrial heritage; pounds 50m is being spent in rejuvenating the dismal Digbeth area, to be known henceforth as Millennium Point (which you may have thought was in Greenwich). If it were a TV programme, it would be Tomorrow's World (which just happens to be one of the exhibits). Call 0121-303 2983.

Dynamic Earth: Opening on 3 July 1999 opposite the new Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh. It promises "90 minutes of thrilling entertainment with cutting-edge scientific thinking... Visitors will experience the thrill of travelling back in time and feeling the `Restless Earth' volcano erupting beneath their feet". If it were a TV programme, it would be The Restless Earth. Call 0131-550 7800,