The Cosmosphere, a Smithsonian-affiliated science education center and space museum in Hutchinson, KS, is planning a full line-up of new exhibits and activities to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing this summer. Please see cosmo.org/Apollo50 for more details!
The below activities and exhibits are now open to the public:
New Interactive Exhibit: Apollo Redux
Experience this new, interactive traveling exhibit with an authentic Apollo-era Mission Control back room console in the Our Universe Gallery. Designed and built by the Cosmosphere, this exhibit was funded by the NASA TEAM II Grant. Visitors will have the chance to sit at an actual Mission Control console and understand the different jobs and roles of both historic and modern-day mission control personnel.
New Museum Rotunda Exhibit: We Choose to Go to the Moon
Learn about what the Moon is made of, why we wanted to go there and more in this exhibit celebrating the Moon. This display is in our museum rotunda area, near the Cosmosphere Café.
Apollo 11 Scavenger Hunt:
The Cosmosphere is home to several authentic artifacts from the Apollo 11 mission. From a training suit worn by astronaut Michael Collins to a Moon rock and components of the F-1 Saturn V engines which launched the U.S. into the Space-Race record books, visitors are encouraged to find all of the Cosmosphere artifacts related to the Apollo-era.
Apollo 11 Selfie Station:
Visitors can take a selfie “on the Moon” with a life-sized photo opportunity in the Cosmosphere’s Lobby.
Apollo 11 Celebration Wall
In the lobby, guests will find activity sheets for children to write their first quote from the Moon and adults to share memories of the Moon landing. Fill out a sheet and drop it at the Box Office for display on the Apollo 11 Celebration Wall.
New Documentary: Apollo 11: First Steps Edition
Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing with newly-discovered, never-before-seen 70mm footage and audio recordings. This documentary joins Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, the Mission Control team and millions of spectators around the world, during those momentous days and hours in 1969 when humankind took a giant leap into the future.
For documentary showtimes, visit cosmo.org or call the Cosmosphere Box Office at 620.665.9312.
Beginning May 24 and continuing until Aug. 4, the Cosmosphere will offer extended summer hours. The summer hours are:
- Mon. – Sat.: 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
- Sun.: 12 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Additionally, second-run feature films will show on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings at 7 p.m.. Watch cosmo.org for a current list of films showing.
New NASA Interactive Exhibit: Sun, Earth, Universe
The Sun, Earth, Universe exhibition is an engaging exhibition about Earth and space science geared specifically for families with young children (ages 4 and up). Exhibit visitors will have the chance to design, build, and test their own model spacecraft to complete a mission to space and use real science tools to reveal information which is invisible to human eyes! Little scientists will use imaginative play to explore the surface of Mars with toy rovers and spacecraft and so much more!
The Sun, Earth, Universe exhibition is placed throughout the Cosmosphere’s Hall of Space museum entrance area and will be available to visitors throughout the summer with Hall of Space admission.
Apollo 11 Anniversary Week Activities: July 15-20
**Events below are subject to change. Watch cosmo.org for updates**
Monday, July 15th
Presentation, Film Screening & Book Signing with Author Rick Houston
From 6 p.m. to 8:45 p.m., the public is invited to hear from author and film producer, Rick Houston. Houston, the co-author of “Go, Flight! The Unsung Heroes of Mission Control” will offer insight into his writing of the book, as well as discuss his duties as producer and consultant to the documentary film “Mission Control: The Unsung Heroes of Apollo”. Houston also served as technical advisor and extra in the 2018 film “First Man”.
A screening of the film and book signing will follow the book discussion. Seating is limited! Tickets to this event are $5 plus tax and can be purchased beginning July 1, by calling the Cosmosphere Box Office at 620.665.9312.
Tuesday, July 16
Global Rocket Launch
From 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the Cosmosphere lobby, the public is invited to help the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, attempt a World-record at most rockets launched in a day! Visitors are encouraged to make and launch paper stomp rockets then sign the tally sheet for Cosmosphere to send in as part of the record attempt.
Special Moon Landing Presentation: “You are there…”
At 6:30 p.m. in the second floor Discovery classroom, Paul Lytle, a Building Systems Engineer at Wichita State University, a lifelong space and history enthusiast and long-time Cosmosphere volunteer will offer a free public presentation titled: “You are there…”. This presentation will take audience members to that historic moment 50 years ago this July when 600 million people huddled around television sets across the world to catch a glimpse of “Mankind’s Greatest Adventure”—landing humans on the Moon!
Thursday, July 18
Coffee @ the Cosmo
From 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., join Cosmosphere Curator, Shannon Whetzel for the monthly free Coffee at the Cosmo presentation. This month’s program is titled: “We Choose to Go to the Moon,” and audience members are encouraged to wear attire from 1969. This event is free and open to the public and coffee and pastries are provided.
Opera Kansas Moon-themed Performance
At 10:30 a.m. the public is invited to a free special performance from Opera Kansas. Featuring Moon-themed popular songs, this performance will take place in the Cosmosphere Lobby.
Saturday, July 20
Space Out Saturday:
Offered from 10:00 am to 1:00 p.m. in the Cosmosphere Lobby, this free family-friendly event, Space Out Saturday, will focus on the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11. Young explorers will get to learn more about the history of the Apollo 11 mission and astronaut training. Then they’ll construct their own space suit from common household items and create their own first words from the Moon.
Docent Guided tours of Hall of Space Museum* will be offered on the hour, every hour, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. On the even hours (Noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.) visitors will be given a full museum tour. During the odd hour (11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.) tours, focus will be given to Apollo 11 and Apollo-era artifacts. *Hall of Space admission required. Reno County residents are FREE.
Free Documentary Showing: Smithsonian Channel’s “The Day We Walked On The Moon”
At 12:00 p.m. and 2 p.m., in the Justice Planetarium, the public is invited to attend a free screening of a new Smithsonian Channel documentary, titled “The Day We Walked On The Moon”. This documentary, exclusively available for screening to Smithsonian-affiliated museums, tells the mission’s story through interviews with key figures in Mission Control, contemporary astronauts and the families of Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong.
Seating for this free documentary screening is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Landing on the Lawn:
From 6:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., free and open to the public, this family-friendly community event will be held on the Hutchinson Community College lawn. Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing with fun hands-on, Moon and space-themed activities from various community organizations and live science demonstrations from Cosmosphere Science Educators. After dark, a showing of the 1969 CBS footage of the Moon landing will be shown, followed by an screening of a new Smithsonian Channel documentary, titled The Day We Walked On The Moon. To wrap up the event, Cosmosphere Space Science Educators will host a Moon and planet observing, using a giant 16” diameter telescope. This event is held in conjunction with Hutchinson Community College and Hutch Rec. Check out more on Landing on the Lawn here.