In the early 70s, the Cosmosphere team began working to identify items from the early crewed space missions that were no longer in use and considered excess property. A collaborative relationship with NASA developed and, while the National Air and Space Museum had first right of refusal, some of the Nation’s great space artifacts were put on loan as part of the Cosmosphere’s collection.
In the late 1990s Russia was suffering from a financial crisis that left the ruble devalued and country’s economy in danger of failing. This led the to the sale of many Russian assets including artifacts from its space exploration program. Thanks to good relationships and great timing, Cosmosphere was able to procure many of those artifacts for its permanent collection.
The result of carefully assembling the collection, the Cosmosphere is one of the only places in the world where visitors can make a side-by-side comparison of the Soviet-era space program to that of the United States. Visitors not only can compare the differences in the engineering and design of the space craft themselves, but also the cultural differences that shaped the history of the era.
Visit the Cosmosphere, the greatest space museum on planet Earth.