Sep 26

Cosmosphere: a Kansas Attraction that is out of this World

CosmosphereThe Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center is a world class museum situated in the little town of Hutchinson, Kansas about 45 minutes northwest of Wichita. This Smithsonian-affiliated museum houses the largest collection of Russian space artifacts outside of Russia and has the second largest collection of space artifacts in the world. Only the National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C. has more.  Besides the 15,000 space artifacts in the Cosmosphere collection it also has a planetarium, a flight simulator, a dome 4K digital theater, a demonstration lab of early rocket technology, and a museum gift shop.Space TechWhat I really enjoyed about Cosmosphere was that this is a museum that tells the full story of space flight not only from an American perspective but a Russian one as well.  It starts with rocket technology developed by Germany during the lead up to World War II and throughout the war.  Followed by the race between the United States and the Soviet Union to see who would get to the German rocket scientists first.  This museum does a great job explaining the early history of space flight in an interesting and exciting manor.Space RaceThe next section of the museums shows in great detail the trials and tribulations of the space race between the Soviets and the Americans.  Starting with Sputnik 1 and Kennedy’s speech about sending a man to the moon by the end of the decade and ending with artifacts from Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon to Gene Cernan’s last steps there.Rocket EnginesHaving a one year old with us, my wife and I had to pass on special exhibit attractions like Dr. Goddard’s Lab, the movie show, and the planetarium, but what we got to see in the Hall of Space Museum made our trip to the Cosmosphere worthwhile.  Just some of the many highlights here were Liberty Bell 7 spacecraft from Mecury 4, a moon rock from Apollo 11, restored V-1 and V-2 rockets from WWII, the Bell X-1 flown by Chuck Yeager, the backup to Sputnik 1, and the command module Odyssey from Apollo 13.Sputnik 1The Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center is a must see museum if you are ever in the south central section of Kansas.  Karen and I are looking forward to going back when our daughter is at an age where she too can appreciate the museum.  It is a great learning experience and should be visited by anybody that is interested in history or space flight.

To read our other reviews of air and space museums click hereKansas CosmosphereCosmosphere
Located at 1100 N. Plum, Hutchinson, KS
Hours of Operation- Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter
Cost as of this Posting- General Admission – Adults 13 to 60 $12.00 Children 4 to 12 and people over 60 $10.00 Special exhibits and shows will cost extra
For more information visit http://www.cosmo.org/

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