Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center - 2003
While in Kansas for an RV rally, we visited the Cosmosphere in Hitchinson. It is an affiliate of The Smithsonian Institution. It has a fantastic collection of international space artifacts.
We will tell you a little about our visit and encourage you to visit the Cosmosphere. The AAA tour book recommends a three hour visit. We and several others at the rally spent six hour there - the three programs include with your ticket are 45 minutes each. Don't miss them! Your ticket ($11) is good for the entire day of purchase so take advantage of their food court or exit to eat at another location and return.
You are greeted at the entrance by a statue of Commander Crenan, the last person to walk on the moon.
Inside the building is a huge plane which had been lowered into the building by crane. It is one of many impressive items.
This German "Buzz bomb" ... one of many items documenting the technology gathered by the German V-1 and V-2 rocket program. This is the first display - very informative.
Another series of displays document the space race between the United States and Russia - both the human factor and the technical story.
Pieces of the Berlin wall are from a historical event we all witnessed in 'real-time' on television.
The Cosmosphere has one of the largest collections of space suits in the world.
You have heard of writing the answers on your cuff for tests. The astronauts wore a 'cuff checklist' to help them remember their tasks and their speeches.
We have all seen the astronauts leaving the 'white room' and entering the spacecraft. We were in a 'white room' - but, not 300 feet in the air. The opening was against the spacecraft.
The 'rocket sled' tested human endurance. These tests were conducted in the 1950s and assisted in the design and performance of all future spacecrafts.
Being and old car guy, Fred found the $6,000,000 (yes, six million dollars) Lunar Roving Vehicle interesting.
We all enjoyed the many photographs the astronauts sent back to earth on a daily basis. And we have seen some of those they brought back with them. They used several cameras to accomplish this. To save weight on reentry, they left the cameras on the moon and brought back only the backs (film).
Your ticket permits you to select three of a group of presentations.
One we selected was Adrenaline Rush in the Carey IMAX Dome Theater. The movie was designed teach you how adrenaline affects the human body. You felt you were there as people jumping off cliffs, jumping out of air planes and other intense activities.
Another program presented in the Justice Planetarium Theater debunked the theory that our trips to the moon were hoaxes. The following photographs were part of their presentation. There is sufficient evidence, we were there. We have the photographs, samples and studies to support it.
Dr. Goddard's Lab was a presentation with the goal of " making rocket science fun for all ages". It was fun. The program maintained the attention of everyone. He let everyone feel a container of liquid oxygen. Using a 'magic' liquid, he showed how the vapors from the liquid would propel a water bottle like a rocket. All in all, a very well done presentation.
One section of the Cosmospere is devoted to the restoration of space artifacts. They have over 100 worldwide projects to their credit.
They have a 5-day Future Astronaut Training Program for student grades 7 through 10. An Elderhostel Astronaut Training Program for 55+ is an easier space training experience.
And, of course, a gift shop.
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