Designed and manufactured by Robert Stephenson (1803-1859) and Company at Newcastle’s Forth Street Works in 1829 the Rocket has been the fastest locomotive ever built up to that point. Its basic ground-breaking design was crucial for the 25-year-old Stephenson to win the locomotive trials held in Rainhill in 1829 to decide on the future motive power for the Liverpool & Manchester Railway.
As Newcastle and Gateshead prepared for the opening of the 2018 Great Exhibition of The North, the Science Museum Group had been organising the transport of such historic landmark back to its birthplace for the first time since 1862.
Before the journey back home, the London Science Museum, where the Rocket has been carefully preserved for 18 years, decided to embark on a digitasion mission to create a faithful digital replica of the Rocket.
In May 2018 the team captured over 3,000 high resolution images and 20 high resolution laser scans, resulting in a model of just over 1 billion points, one of the most detailed scans of any object at the Science Museum. Now available as part of the Museum online collection the data can be explored, downloaded and manipulated.