MACAO, Dec. 19 (Xinhua) -- President Hu Jintao cut the ribbon for the opening ceremony of the Macao Science Center (MSC) Saturday afternoon on the eve of the 10th anniversary of Macao's return to the motherland, which falls on Dec. 20. Here are some basic facts about the center:
The Macao Science Center is based on a reclamation area, which was completed in September 2006 after more than nine months' reclamation work. Construction of the center was officially started in October that year. Through over three years of construction and preparation, the Macao Science Center was completed in 2009 with a cost of 337 million patacas (42.6 million U.S. dollars).
The center consists of an exhibition center, a planetarium and a conference center. The 5,800 square meters exhibition center and its 14 galleries can accommodate over 450 interactive exhibits. The centerpiece of the planetarium is a tilted semi-dome screen nearly 15 meters in diameter, supported by high resolution 3D digital projectors. The 700 square meters convention center includes a multi-functional convention hall and four small conference rooms.
The Macao Science Center was designed by I.M. Pei, a world renowned Chinese American architect. Mr. Pei has received numerous awards and the products of his design are landmarks all over the world.
Besides the main functions of promoting popular science education for youth in Macao, promoting the development of tourism, conference and exhibition industries in Macao, the Macao Science Center is expected by government officials from the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) to be a new landmark of Macao.