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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Cosmosphere in Hutchinson, KS - Part 1

Another really nice weather day here in Kansas. And as always our plans changed this morning when we got in the car. Instead of going to Wichita we went to Hutchinson and Yoder.
#s 1 and 5 are  the campground. 
Our first stop in Hutchinson was a restaurant to eat breakfast. I won’t say which one. We walked in and waited for the hostess, as we waited another couple finished their meal and stood waiting for the cashier. And we waited and stood and waited and stood. No one seemed to be paying any attention to the front area. The other couple was looking for a bell to ring. About then I glanced out the window and saw an employee walking up the sidewalk towards the front door. Joking I said, “ Here she comes she was outside.” We all laughed – until that employee came inside and asked who was there first. She picked up menus to seat us and told the other couple she would be right with them. I wonder what she was doing outside?  So we got our booth and waited some more for the waitress. She finally came, “Wad da ya want to drink?” We both ordered coffee. Soon she was back, slammed the cups on the table and gave them a push. Kind of like a bartender sliding a glass of beer down the bar. Then she huffed and took our order. I couldn't help but laugh at the outraged look on Bill’s face. After that all went well.
After breakfast we went to the Kansas Cosmophere. It is a space museum in Hutchinson. A marvelous museum. Had to believe it is in the middle of Kansas. [I’ll warn you – I took 187 pictures – going to be hard to choose which ones to share.]
The museum was finished in 1997 but started as a dream of one woman in 1962. It has one of the largest collections of flown American spacecraft and the largest collection of Russian spacecraft and space related artifacts in the world. 
Before going in we check out this marvelous sculpture of an Astronaut. Some information about it. The last person to leave a footprint on the moon. 
The sculpture

The first thing you see as you go inside is a Lockheed SR-71A Blackbird. It is a wondrous airplane. Looking at it from the nose back. It is 107” 5” long. With a wingspan of 55’ 7”. Top speed was [they admit] 2,200 mph.or 3200 feet a second.
A look underneath it at the belly and one of it’s engines. It used 8,000 gallons of fuel per hour. When it was sitting on the ground fuel would leak from the plane. As it flew the skin expanded with the heat and sealed the fuel tank.
A look at it from the back to the front. Bill and I actually saw one of these on the ground at Edwards Air Force base many years ago. No words to describe how powerful it looks sitting still.
It was delivered by the Air Force to Hutchinson airport in five pieces, then assembled and towed to the museum. The room it is in was built around it.
Behind it is a replica of the Space Shuttle the Endeavor. It is really big.
Just a picture in the lobby.
An little bit about the concept for the museum. Sorry about the reflections. 
Some information about the Apollo program. 
A stained glass window leading into the museum. 
The first part of the museum is about the development of weapons by Germany during WWII. V-2 technology made space exploration possible. 

The next section of the museum is about the Cold War and the U.S. and Soviet space programs. 
Test pilot – Chuck Yeager.
The soviet space dog.

This part of the museum really interested me. An actual section of the Berlin Wall.  

 And more information about the Soviet space program. 
 Would you get into this and let yourself be shot off into space? "What did my job description say? I need to look at it again. " This is one of the few Vostok Capsules in America. 
Some information about the Gemini program. And the drogue chute.
 One of the chutes.
 I found this kind of interesting. 
One of the flight suits - imagine sewing this - a part of history. 
 Always wondered about this. ICK!
 Liberty Bell 7 - the actual Mercury capsule flown by Gus Grissom, recovered from the Atlantic Ocean floor in 1999 and restored by the Cosmosphere. 
Going to post this much now and will finish it later - lots more information and pictures to go.


  1. Sounds like she was out having a smoke.
    This looks like a great place to visit.

  2. Amazing what you find in the middle of nowhere... thanks for sharing, we love your blog.