Visit the town that survived Armageddon: Russian city hit by meteor makes a bid for space tourism

Tourism bosses in Chelyabinsk hope to build a 'Meteor Disneyland' in the southern Russian city

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The Independent Online

All of the Disneylands may have a Space Mountain, while the Kennedy Space Center in Florida may document mankind's pioneering achievements in space travel, but it's not often a town can boast of how it survived an intergalactic assault from outer space.

But that's exactly what Chelyabinsk, to the east of Ural Mountains in southern Russia, did last month when an 10,000-ton meteor crashed through the atmosphere, producing a sonic boom and shattered into pieces 32 miles above the city.

With hundreds injured from smashed windows and debris strewn across the city, tourism bosses in the area are now keen to cash-in on the day Chelyabinsk survived its space attack.

"Space sent us a gift and we need to make use of it," Natalia Gritsay, a regional tourism official, told Bloomberg. "We need our own Eiffel Tower or Statue of Liberty."

The phrase 'Meteor Disneyland' has been discussed, as have an annual music and fireworks festival, according to The Telegraph, while the city mayor Andrei Orlov has also suggested setting up a diving centre to allow tourists to search underneath an ice covered lake for pieces of the meteor.

Japanese tourists are already being offered two summer tours of the area, by local tour company Sputnik.

The city's museum were quick to exploit its astronomical experience and installed a Meteor Day exhibit as its main attraction.