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  • Kansas Students Meet First Native American in Space Dec. 6 For

    Kansas Students Meet First Native American in Space Dec. 6 For

    November 17, 2022

    Former NASA astronaut and children’s book author, Commander John B. Herrington, Chickasaw, will be at the Cosmosphere on Tuesday, December 6.

    At 10:00 a.m., Herrington will teach students from districts in Cosmosphere’s LaunchLearning program about the process for naming stars and planets, and about how names can express culture.

    At 1:30 p.m., Herrington will sit down with K-3rd grade LaunchLearning students for a very special story time. He will read from his own book for young children, “Mission to Space,” published by Chickasaw press and available for purchase in the Cosmosphere gift shop.

    Students from anywhere in Kansas can join either of these events free via livestream. Teachers can contact for access instructions.

    Also on December 6, Herrington and Cosmosphere staff will film a video submission to an International Astronomical Union competition to name a star and planet. Their proposed name for the star and planet will be revealed that morning and will have Chickasaw cultural significance. The video will become part of the classroom materials available through the LaunchLearning program.

    Commander John B. Herrington is a retired Naval Aviator and engineer who holds a PhD in education. He now devotes himself to teaching others about the importance of understanding and caring for the Earth through science and exploration. In 2002, Herrington launched aboard STS-113, the sixteenth space shuttle mission to the International Space Station. He became the first NASA astronaut from a federally recognized tribe to fly to space.

Upcoming Events

  • Coffee at the Cosmo: Apollo’s Amazing Folding Rover: Stories of the Sturdy LRV
    March 16
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  • Coffee at the Cosmo: Apollo’s Amazing Folding Rover: Stories of the Sturdy LRV

    Date: Thursday, March 16, 2023 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM

    This informative community gathering over coffee features guest speakers offering insight into STEM and space topics. Coffee at the Cosmo is free and open to the public.

    In March, Cosmosphere’s curator Shannon Whetzel shares her newly rekindled enthusiasm for what may be the most under-appreciated piece of Apollo-era technology: the Lunar Roving Vehicle, or LRV. A foldable marvel affectionately known as the “Moon buggy,” the LRV allowed Apollo 15, 16, and 17 astronauts to push the frontier of human exploration by traversing a mountainous area on the Moon the size of Manhattan.

    Earl Swift, author of “Across the Airless Wilds,” describes the LRV as “an electric go-cart that folded like a business letter, weighed less than eighty pounds in the moon’s reduced gravity, and muscled its way up mountains, around craters, and over undulating plains.”

    Whetzel will share important discoveries enabled by the LRV and will talk about what excites her about Cosmosphere’s LRV exhibit. 

    Coffee at the Cosmo can be enjoyed in-person at the Cosmosphere or live online via Zoom from anywhere!

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