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  • Liberty Bell 7 Spacecraft to Splashdown at Cosmosphere

    Liberty Bell 7 Spacecraft to Splashdown at Cosmosphere

    June 4, 2020

    Hutchinson, KAN.— Liberty Bell 7 is set to splashdown at the Cosmosphere, following nearly six years of being on exhibit throughout the world.  Beginning Tuesday, June 16, visitors to the Smithsonian-affiliated space museum in Hutchinson, KS, will have the opportunity to get up close to an amazing piece of space history when the Mercury spacecraft, which took the second U.S. astronaut into space, returns to its home museum.  The craft will be on display in the Cosmosphere Grand Lobby through the remainder of 2020.

    Museum-goers can also participate in special activities planned for the “Summer Space Splashdown”, honoring both the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 13 mission and the Liberty Bell 7’s return.  With daring stories of survival, both Liberty Bell 7 and the Odyssey—the spacecraft used during the Apollo 13 mission—demonstrate the tenacity of the American spirit and our ability to overcome challenges. 

    The Cosmosphere’s “Summer Space Splashdown” activities include new exhibits (see below for details), an Apollo 13 artifact scavenger hunt and the opportunity to collect a set of commemorative trading cards* for the Apollo 13 mission. *Trading cards will be available at the Box Office, are limited to one set per Box Office transaction and are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

    New Exhibits

    Apollo 13: A Mission of Survival: Restored on-site, the authentic Apollo 13 spacecraft, Odyssey, calls the Cosmosphere home! SpaceWorks, a division of the Cosmosphere which helped restore the craft, had a major role in re-creating the mission for the 1995 movie “Apollo 13”— producing more than 80 percent of the movie’s props. Learn more about the mission and the Cosmosphere’s role in the film in this new exhibit near the Cosmosphere Café, at the top of the museum entrance.

    X-Plane Gallery: At the bottom of the museum entrance, visitors will find a brand new X-Plane gallery, introducing them to the Space Race story told throughout the Cosmosphere’s museum. Here, one can begin to understand the important testing and breaking of boundaries of high altitude and high-speed flight and the effects it had on humans and hardware.

    This new gallery also allows additional artifacts to be displayed—including a new full-view of the cockpit of the replica Bell X-1 ‘Glamorous Glennis’, a display of Kansas Astronaut Joe Engle’s X-15 flight suit, as well as an XLR99 rocket engine from the X-15 program.

    COVID-19:

    In order to keep visitors, staff and volunteers safe, the Cosmosphere is practicing safety protocols regarding COVID-19.  Some high-touch areas and activities are still unavailable to the public. For full details, please visit: www.cosmo.org. 

    More about Liberty Bell 7

    Liberty Bell 7 was recovered from the ocean floor in 1999 after spending nearly 40 years submerged at a depth of more than 15,000 feet (deeper than the Titanic).  SpaceWorks, a division of the Cosmosphere, helped to retrieve and conserve the craft to the state it appears in today. Liberty Bell 7 is owned by the Cosmosphere, making it the only privately owned American spacecraft. The Cosmosphere is among only four museums worldwide to have a flown set of manned Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo spacecraft.

Upcoming Events

  • Blue Star Museum Program
    May 15 – September 6
    More Details
  • Coffee at the Cosmo: The Peril and Promise of Space Exploration: Celebrating the 60th Anniversary of Liberty Bell 7
    July 15
    More Details
  • Celebrating the 60th Anniversary of Liberty Bell 7
    July 21
    More Details
  • Blue Star Museum Program

    Date: Saturday, May 15, 2021
    Location:Cosmosphere

    Cosmosphere will join museums nationwide in the Blue Star Museums initiative, a program that provides free admission to currently-serving U.S. military personnel and their families this summer. The 2021 program will begin on Armed Forces Day, Saturday, May 15, 2021, and end on Labor Day, Monday, September 6, 2021. Blue Star Museums is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in collaboration with BlueStar Families, the Department of Defense, and participating museums nationwide.

    The free admission program is available for those currently serving in the United States Military—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. Qualified members must show a Geneva Convention common access card, DD Form 1173 ID card (dependent ID) or a DD Form 1173-1 ID for entrance into a Blue Star Museum.

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

  • Coffee at the Cosmo: The Peril and Promise of Space Exploration: Celebrating the 60th Anniversary of Liberty Bell 7

    Date: Thursday, July 15, 2021 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
    Location:Cosmosphere

    Welcome back to in-person Coffee at the Cosmo at the Cosmosphere!

    This informative community gathering over coffee features guest speakers offering insight into STEM topics and space history. Coffee at the Cosmo is offered quarterly and is free of charge. It can also be enjoyed via Facebook Live from anywhere!

    Enjoy this free, presentation on The Peril and Promise of Space Exploration as it examines the risks revealed in the Liberty Bell 7 Mission along with insight into the Mercury program goals and objectives, which formed the foundation of U.S. manned space exploration. Jim Remar, Cosmosphere President and CEO presents. 

    *Coffee at the Cosmo topics and speakers are subject to change.

  • Celebrating the 60th Anniversary of Liberty Bell 7

    Date: Wednesday, July 21, 2021 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Location:Cosmosphere

    Join us Wednesday, July 21, in celebrating the 60th Anniversary of Gus Grissom's Liberty Bell 7 spacecraft!

    • Throughout the summer: See the special Liberty Bell 7 exhibit at the Cosmosphere and celebrate the mission all day on July 21!
    • Wednesday, July 21, beginning at 12:30 p.m.: Mercury to Artemis Celebrating the Past and Future of Space Travel
      • 12:30 p.m Jim Remar, Cosmosphere President and CEO, shares a presentation about Liberty Bell 7
      • 1:00 p.m. NASA’s Nicole Herrmann, Technical Integration Manager in the Human Exploration Development and Operations Office of NASA Marshall Space Flight Center will join us virtually to discuss the future of space travel and the Artemis Mission. 
    • Special discounts in the gift store and café to celebrate Liberty Bell 7's Anniversary
    • Don't miss the limited edition Liberty Bell 7 patch and t-shirt in the Cosmosphere Gift Store!

    Find out more in our latest blog post. 

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