Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center

Liberty Bell 7.jpg
If you've been reading the blog for any length of time, you've had to have figured out by now that I'm a geeky sort of guy.  I'm not just a lover of new tech... I'm a lover of old tech as well.  And that goes all the way back to the space race and the astronauts of my youth.
So this weekend, we spent some time in one of our Kansas treasures, the Kansas Cosmosphere.  The Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center is a Smithsonian affiliated space museum in Hutchinson, Kansas.  This place has to be seen to be believed.  They have one of the most incredible and amazing collections of space and rocket artifacts in the world!
Take for instance, the photo above of Liberty Bell 7.  If you've ever seen the movie "The Right Stuff" you may remember that Gus Grissom's capsule sunk in the Atlantic before it could be retrieved.  The amazing spacecraft sunk in 16,000 feet of water in 1961 and remained there until it was found and retrieved on July 20, 1999... that meant it spent more than 38 years immersed in 16,000 feet of salt water.  The Liberty Bell 7 has been completely restored by the restoration experts at the Cosmosphere and is now on permanent display.
To see some of these amazing pieces of history so close you can almost touch them brought me an incredible perspective into how brave and smart these people were.  At 6'2" I might not have even been able to fit into Liberty Bell 7 and yet Gus Grissom rode this tiny projectile into orbit.
The museum also boasts the REAL Apollo 13 capsule, yes THE Apollo 13.
If you get a chance head out to Hutchinson, Kansas and see this for yourself.  I could write 10,000 words here and still not do it justice.  Instead, I'll just provide a link and tell you that it's a definite must see for anyone who is a geek or who, like me, grew up watching and dreaming of being one of those guys with the "Right Stuff".

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