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  • Historic Liberty Bell 7 to land at Planet Comicon Kansas City for exhibit

    Historic Liberty Bell 7 to land at Planet Comicon Kansas City for exhibit

    March 30, 2022

    Historic Liberty Bell 7 to land at Planet Comicon Kansas City for exhibit

    The Mercury spacecraft was the second crewed U.S. spaceflight in July 1961; LB7 will be at Planet on loan from the Cosmosphere International SciEd Center & Space Museum

    KANSAS CITY, MO (March 30, 2022) - Planet Comicon Kansas City, in partnership with the Smithsonian-affiliated Cosmosphere, is thrilled to announce that the historic Liberty Bell 7 spacecraft will be on exhibit during Planet, April 22-24, 2022, at Bartle Hall. Liberty Bell 7 will be off display at the Cosmosphere from Wednesday, April 20 through Monday, April 25. It will be back on display at the Cosmosphere in Hutchinson, KS, on Tuesday, April 26, 2022.

    Planet will be the first comicon in the country to exhibit a flown, crewed spacecraft. Piloted by Gus Grissom, one of the original Mercury 7 astronauts, the Project Mercury spacecraft was launched on July 21, 1961 and featured the second crewed U.S. spaceflight in history. The Liberty Bell 7 will be available for attendees to view for the duration of Planet's 2022 event on loan from the Hutchinson, Kansas-based Cosmosphere.

    Piloted by Gus Grissom, one of the original Mercury 7 astronauts, the Project Mercury spacecraft’s sub-orbital flight lasted 15 minutes in 1961 and was a textbook mission until splashdown, when the hatch door prematurely ejected off the craft, filling it with seawater. While Astronaut Grissom was rescued by helicopter, the LB7 craft sank to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean and stayed there for 38 years before an expedition led by the Discovery Channel and the Cosmosphere recovered it from its resting place at a depth of more than 16,000 feet. Space is not an unknown frontier to Planet Comicon Kansas City fans. Over the years, Planet has welcomed guests from the fantastical world of Star Trek, Star Wars and beyond.

    “As a lifelong crewed spaceflight enthusiast, I was honored during the early years of Planet to host astronauts Al Bean and Ed Mitchell, who walked on the moon on Apollo’s 12 and 14, respectively, as well as Dick Gordon, command module pilot of Apollo 12 who orbited the moon while his crew-mate Al Bean walked on its surface,” said Planet Comicon Kansas City CEO/Founder Chris Jackson. “Bringing LB7 to Planet 2022, especially when we already have a renowned guest like Adam Savage, who is also a space flight enthusiast, is a no-brainer. I’m excited to share this treasured piece of US history with Planet fans.”

    In addition to the generous loan of the LB7 for display, Planet Comicon Kansas City and the Cosmosphere will work together to enhance the science and STEM-based activities at Planet, while also sharing the historical relevance of the LB7 and the Cosmosphere’s spacecraft programming. Photos, presentations and more will be available during Planet Comicon Kansas City and in conjunction with the Cosmosphere.

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    About Planet Comicon Kansas City Founded in 1999, Planet Comicon Kansas City will celebrate its 22nd annual show, April 22-24, 2022. Featuring eight football fields worth of exhibit space, comics, collectibles, merch, programming, gaming and family-friendly entertainment, Planet gives fans the opportunity to get up close and personal with the best in comics, sci-fi, fantasy, and superhero television, film, and books. Locally owned and operated, Planet is not affiliated with any other event and makes its home year-round in Kansas City. For more information, tickets, photo opportunities and the latest guest announcements, visit PlanetComicon.com and “Like” @PlanetComiconKC on Facebook, follow @PlanetComiconOfficial on Instagram, and stay in touch via @PlanetComicon on Twitter.

    About Cosmosphere Since its humble beginnings in 1962, visitors from across the globe have come to Hutchinson, Kansas to discover the inspiration that can only be found at the Cosmosphere. An international science-education center and space museum, the Cosmosphere inspires innovation through science education and honoring the history of space exploration. The Cosmosphere was one of the first affiliates of the Smithsonian Institution and features the largest combined collection of U.S. and Russian space artifacts in the world. For more information on the Cosmosphere, visit Cosmo.org and “Like” @kscosmosphere on Facebook, follow @the_cosmosphere on Instagram, and stay in touch via @the_cosmosphere on Twitter. 

Upcoming Events

  • Blue Star Museum Program
    May 21 – September 5
    More Details
  • 2022 Sunflower Summer Program
    May 28 – August 14
    More Details
  • Coffee at the Cosmo: Celebrating Webb Space Telescope’s First Images
    July 21
    More Details
  • Blue Star Museum Program

    Date: Saturday, May 21, 2022
    Location:Cosmosphere

    The Cosmosphere is proud to be participating in Blue Star Museums, which provides free admission to our Hall of Space Museum to our nation’s active-duty military personnel (including Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard as well as members of the Reserves, National Guard, U.S. Public Health Commissioned Corps, NOAA Commissioned Corps) and up to five family members. The Blue Star Museum program begins Armed Forces Day, May 21, 2022 and ends Labor Day, September 5, 2022.

    Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and museums across America, offering free admission to the nation’s active-duty military personnel and their families, including National Guard and Reserve.

    The free admission program is available for those currently serving in the United States Military–Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard–including Reservists, National Guardsman (regardless of status), U.S. Public Health Commissioned Corps, NOAA Commissioned Corps, and up to five family members. Qualified members must show a Geneva Convention common access card (CAC), DD Form 1173 ID card (dependent ID), or a DD Form 1173-1 ID card for entrance into a participating Blue Star Museum. 

    For a complete list of participants, visit arts.gov/bluestarmuseums.

  • 2022 Sunflower Summer Program

    Date: Saturday, May 28, 2022
    Location:Cosmosphere

    What's better than an out-of-this-world visit to the Cosmosphere? How about a FREE out-of-this-world visit thanks to the Kansas State Department of Education's Sunflower Summer program! All Kansas students, and up to two accompanying adults, can receive free admission to our Hall of Space Museum May 28 through August 14, 2022.

    To be eligible to participate, students must be 4-18 years old and not have graduated high school yet. Up to two adults accompanying the student can also participate. To get started,  parents and guardians need to download the Sunflower Summer app free from either Google Play (Android) or Apple (iOS) app stores.

    With over 70 participating venues across Kansas, check out www.sunflowersummer.org to find out how to make your Sunflower Summer spectacular!

  • Coffee at the Cosmo: Celebrating Webb Space Telescope’s First Images

    Date: Thursday, July 21, 2022 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
    Location:Cosmosphere Grand Lobby

    Thursday, July 21, 2022
    9 AM–10 AM
    Cosmosphere Grand Lobby

    The most powerful space telescope ever built is slated to have its first images available to the public in July! Join us for an official Webb Space Telescope Community Event to celebrate Webb’s first images and talk about how Webb can help us re-think our understanding of our galaxy, black holes and the universe!

    Cosmosphere VP for Education JoAnna Strecker will kick things off with an in-person presentation on telescope history, science, and engineering. Then Cosmosphere Camps alumna and theoretical astrophysicist Dr. Laura Blecha will join us remotely to emphasize the importance of what we can learn from Webb. Coffee, juice and water will be provided. 

    Can't make it in person? This presentation will be recorded, with the recording made available to the public on our Facebook paxge, YouTube Channel, and website shortly afterward. 

    Coffee at the Cosmo is offered every other month and is free of charge.

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