The Kansas Cosmosphere, located in Hutchinson, Kansas, resides in a small town in the plains of the Midwest. Surrounded by cattle pastures and cornfields, the Cosmosphere is a welcoming silver-roofed museum, offset by a genuine Mercury-Redstone Launch Vehicle and a Gemini-Titan II rocket. Offering hours of excitement, education, and artifacts, the Kansas Cosmosphere is fun for the entire family.
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Even though the museum sits a reasonable distance off the beaten path, it is worth the detour to explore the many exhibits and displays the Kansas Cosmosphere has to offer.
Patty Carey had a vision in 1962. The Cosmosphere founder wanted to create a public planetarium, and did so by setting up a borrowed planetarium projector inside of the Poultry Building located on the Kansas State Fairgrounds. It was one of the first established in the Midwest.
In 1966, Hutchinson Community College offered Carey a new home for the planetarium on its campus. To better suit its new resident, the college built a more modern, larger science center.
As the planetarium grew in popularity, the board of directors, along with Patty, discussed an expansion campaign that would allow for the creation and development of a space and science center worthy of international acclaim.
The new, thirty-five thousand square-foot facility opened in 1980 and consisted of the planetarium, new classrooms for additional school programs, an exhibit gallery, and a one of the first of its kind IMAX Dome Theater.
The cosmosphere expanded again in 1997, growing to a one hundred five thousand square foot facility, which displayed an authentic SR-71 Blackbird in its lobby. A year later, the Kansas Cosmosphere was identified as an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institute, establishing a long-term relationship with the National Air & Space Museum.
Another major renovation was announced in 2014, as the museum continues to search for and find new ways to provide interactive education for science, along with its various collections of artifacts. These endeavors continue today as the Kansas Cosmosphere seeks to engage visitors in stimulating and educating exhibits and displays.
The Kansas Cosmosphere is a place without limitations. Curiosity is free to run amuck, and excitement is encouraged. Visitors to the Cosmosphere are invited to learn and explore the incredible history of those who came before and continue to inspire us.
The Justice Planetarium is a cutting-edge, dual projector experience that will engage both your mind and senses. This exhibit is part of the Our Universe display and will provide entertainment and education for visitors of all ages.
Hall of Space
The Hall of Space exhibit is touted as the most extensive collection of space artifacts consisting of both the United States and the Russian space programs in the world. It tells the incredible story of both country’s race to space, and nothing like it can be viewed anywhere else on the planet.
Dr. Goddard’s Lab
Considered to be the father of modern Rocketry, Dr. Robert Goddard of Goddard’s lab offers a trip back to the 1930s. This interactive exhibit provides a fantastic show including some explosive surprises. Live demonstrations are used to show visitors the history of rocketry.
The Kansas Cosmosphere offers many educational programs designed to meet science standards for the current generation along with Common Core. Many packages for educational trips include curriculum focused opportunities with interactive experiences.
Children show a natural tendency toward science as they examine, experiment and explore their surroundings from a young age. The Kansas Cosmosphere seeks to nurture and encourage this interest in the sciences by providing a fun-filled experience for the whole family.
Applied science displays and activities are available for children ranging from two to twelve, and strives to inspire young minds to continue to stay engaged and keep learning. Asking questions and exploring are keys to staying interested in young minds.
The Kansas Cosmosphere museum shop offers great options for gifts and souvenirs to take home. Items range from space suits to jackets to drinkware and more. Whether it’s a poster signed by an astronaut or a pair of socks adorned with the Milky Way galaxy, you’ll have no trouble finding the perfect item for your collection.
Space exploration can build up an appetite, so the Kansas Cosmosphere offers a few options to stop in and grab a bite to eat while taking a load off.
Cosmosphere Cafe and Concession Stand
The Kansas Cosmosphere Cafe and Concession Stand offers an opportunity to grab a snack or a meal while visiting. Guests can sit down for a burger and fries, or just grab a bite to enjoy while watching a movie in the Carey Digital Dome Theater.
Kansas Cosmosphere 1100 N Plum St Hutchinson, KS 67501