X-Plane Gallery with people


A Starry Past, A Bright Future Cosmosphere and Kansas State Fair

This year, Cosmosphere once again brings an exciting micro-burst of live science to the Kansas State Fair. Get your rocket science on and see what Cosmosphere educators can do with gunpowder, liquid nitrogen, and a feverish love for Newton’s three laws of motion.

While you stroll over to catch the show in the fairgrounds’ Education Center, take in the history when you pass the fairgrounds’ poultry building. That’s where the Cosmosphere began, 60 years ago.

That’s One Plucky Gal

Patty Carey, Cosmosphere’s founder, moved to Hutchinson as a newlywed from Bronxville, New York in the early 1940s. Then in 1962, she channeled her lifelong passion for science into raising money to purchase a used Spitz A-1 Stargazer planetarium projector and a planetarium dome. She rented folding chairs and opened “Hutchinson’s Theatre of the Skies” in the poultry building on the Kansas State Fairgrounds in Hutchinson.

Known for enthusiasm so boundless it was hard to tell her “no,” she spearheaded fundraising for the planetarium as it grew from an immediate hit with area schools for field trips to a science and space education destination with a growing collection of exhibits, including a Moon rock and a rattlesnake. Eventually becoming the Hutchinson Planetarium, and later, the Cosmosphere, the international sci-ed center and space museum began by Carey moved to its current location in 1980.

1962 Was How Long Ago?

Why, that’s 60 years ago that the Cosmosphere began! Let’s have a party! In honor of Patty Carey’s founding of our organization 60 years ago, and in honor of the last steps on the Moon during the Apollo 17 mission 50 years ago, we’re excited to celebrate First & Last Steps on December 2, 2022. We hope you’ll join us then! 

We’re returning to where it all started. Our gala celebration takes place on the Kansas State Fairgrounds, this time in the Meadowlark Building. We’re bringing a slate of ten special guests, including astronauts and mission control personnel who experienced some of the most heart-pounding moments of the Apollo program. Event details are available at cosmosevents.org.

No Need to Wait Until December

See Cosmosphere’s live shows at the 2022 Kansas State Fair daily at 10:00 am, 11:00 am, 12:00 pm, and 2:00 pm in the Education Center (on the corner of Bison Blvd. and Lake Talbot Ave.).

Or get the full Big Bang any time of year in Dr. Goddard’s Lab at the Cosmosphere, for live science demonstrations that will spark an interest in STEM in anyone! See cosmo.org to plan your trip today!