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Kansas Cosmosphere 2003.jpg
Main entrance (2003)
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Established 1962; 62 years ago (1962)
Location 1100 North Plum Street
Hutchinson, KS 67501 USA
Type Space Museum
Collection size 15,000
Visitors 150,000 / year
Hutchinson Community College - Kansas Cosmosphere Hutchinson Kansas 9-14-2014
Aerial view of Kansas Cosmosphere and Hutchinson Community College (2014)

Cosmosphere is a space museum and STEM education center in Hutchinson, Kansas, United States. It was previously known as the Kansas Cosmosphere. The museum houses over 13,000 spaceflight artifacts—the largest combined collection of US and Russian spaceflight artifacts in the world, and is home to various space educational programs.


The Cosmosphere grew from a planetarium established on the Kansas State Fairgrounds in 1962. The 105,000-square-foot (9,800 m2) facility houses the largest collection of Russian space artifacts outside of Moscow, and a collection of US space artifacts second only to the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

The Cosmosphere has four venues: The Hall of Space Museum, The Justice Planetarium, The Carey Digital Dome Theater, and Dr. Goddard's Lab (an explosive live science presentation on the history of rocketry). The Cosmosphere also hosts summer camps for all ages, and co-curricular applied STEM education programs for field trips, groups, and scouts that meet Next Generation Science Standards and common core, focused on college and career readiness.

The Cosmosphere is the only Smithsonian affiliate museum in Kansas.

In 2012, the Carey Digital Dome Theater upgraded from IMAX to 4K digital projection.

In 2015, the Justice Planetarium underwent a complete renovation, transitioning from an optical starball projection system to the Spitz Sci-Dome XD digital projection system.

In 2021, three of the museum's oldest galleries began renovations: the German Gallery, the Redstone and Sputnik Gallery, and the Kennedy Theater. These galleries opened during the late 1990s. They will be repainted, and their exhibits will receive new graphics and new sound.

Restoration and replication

The Cosmosphere's SpaceWorks division has restored flown U.S. spacecraft for museums and exhibits across the globe, including artifacts that are part of the collection of the Smithsonian Institution National Air and Space Museum. Two examples of this work are the Apollo 13 Command Module Odyssey, and the Liberty Bell 7 – both on display at the Cosmosphere. The Cosmosphere built roughly 80% of the artifacts and props for the movie Apollo 13 and of the replicated spacecraft hardware seen in Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D; and the TV mini-series From the Earth to the Moon.


Apollo13 CommandModule Kansas
Apollo 13 command module on display (2010)
Apollo 13 control
Interior view of the Apollo 13 capsule (2009)
Liberty Bell 7 on display (2006)
Gemini X Capsule
The Gemini 10 space capsule on display
Kansas Cosmosphere V2 2013
German V-2 rocket on display (2013)
Kansas Cosmosphere Sputnik 1 2008
Flight-ready backup of Soviet Sputnik 1 on display (2008)
Kansas Cosmosphere Right Stuff Glamorous Glennis Replica 2013
A replica of the Bell X-1 Glamorous Glennis, used in the 1983 film The Right Stuff

Flown items included in the Cosmosphere's collection are a Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, the Liberty Bell 7 Mercury spacecraft, the Gemini 10 space capsule, and the Command Module Odyssey from Apollo 13. Additionally, authentic Redstone and Titan II launch vehicles used in the Mercury and Gemini programs flank the building's exterior. A prized item on display is a Moon rock from Apollo 11, the first crewed mission to land on the Moon.

Every artifact on display at the Cosmosphere is either an actual flown artifact, a "flight-ready backup" (identical to the item actually flown), an engineering model, or a historically accurate replica.

The Cosmosphere museum begins with the earliest experiments in rocketry during the World War II era, explores through the Space Race and Cold War, and continues through modern times with the Space Shuttle and International Space Station, as well as SpaceShipOne and commercial spaceflight.

Subset of notable items on display:


World War II era
Cold War era
  • Section of the Berlin Wall – last section removed (authentic)

Russia / Soviet Union / USSR

Early satellites
Early space programs
  • Vostok space capsule (competitor against Mercury program)
  • Voskhod 2 space capsule (competitor against Gemini program)
Space program joint venture with United States
  • Apollo-Soyuz Test Project Craft (full-scale replica)
Various space articles

United States

Winged aircraft
  • Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird reconnaissance plane (flown)
  • Northrop T-38 Talon supersonic jet trainer in NASA livery (flown)
  • XLR11 and XLR99 rocket engines from the North American X-15 program (flown)
  • Replica of the Bell X-1 Glamorous Glennis, used in the filming of The Right Stuff movie
  • Engine from Bell X-1 Glamorous Glennis, pilot Chuck Yeager (flown)
Early satellites
  • Explorer 1 satellite (replica)
  • Vanguard 1 satellite (flight-ready backup)
Mercury space program
  • Liberty Bell 7 Mercury spacecraft, recovered from the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. It is the only spacecraft flown by NASA but owned by an entity other than NASA or the Smithsonian (owned by Cosmosphere).
  • Mercury-Redstone Launch Vehicle rocket (authentic, standing vertical outdoors)
Gemini space program
  • Gemini 10 space capsule (flown)
  • Agena target vehicle docking collar (authentic)
  • Titan II rocket used in the Gemini program (authentic, standing vertical outdoors)
Apollo space program
  • Apollo 13 command module Odyssey (flown)
  • Lunar Roving Vehicle (full-scale replica)
  • Lunar Module and surface experiment suite (full-scale replica)
  • Apollo White Room (authentic)
  • Moon rock collected during Apollo 11
  • Multiple cameras and items carried on Apollo flights (flown)
  • Rocketdyne F-1 engine components recovered from the ocean (flown), unused engine outdoors
Space Shuttle space program
Various space articles

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center para niños

See also (related category): Aerospace museums in the United States by state or territory
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