THE.SAl.INA JOURN/^ KANSAS COSMOSPHERE SUNDAY, MAY 4. 1997 FLIGHTS OF FANCY After latest renovation, the Cosmosphere attracts even bigger crowds into space By CRISTINA JANNEY The Salina Journal T he Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center in Hutchinson is not the same space suit and moon rock museum. "It's completely different. It is like a new Cosmosphere," said Jeff Ollenburg- er, marketing coordinator. The museum closed briefly this winter to enable construction of a $13.5 million expansion and reopened March 15 with burgeoning attendance. The renovation doubled the size of the Cosmosphere and tripled its floor space. The new exhibits include a full-scale space shuttle model, engineering models for Russian Sputnik I and n and an exhibit dedicated to Nazi Germany's contributions to the space race. An SR-71 Blackbird is poised for flight in the lobby of the newly energized space museum. Flying in a Blackbird, which can travel at speeds of 2,000 mph, is similar to flying a space shuttle. Outside the museum, rockets 10 stories tall greet visitors. Although attendance at the museum has increased more than 100 percent since the museum reopened, Ollenburger said, there is still plenty of room in the 100,000-square-foot museum to walk • Tickets: $5 for adults, $4.50 for seniors and $4 for children. • Hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and noon to 9 p.m. Sunday. • Information: Call 316-6222305 or 1-800-397-0330 or visit website at www.cosmo.org. around and get close to exhibits. The renovation is being done in phases, and it will be l'/a to two years before the museum's renovation is completed. Although all of the museum's major exhibits and spacecraft are on display, many smaller pieces from astronauts' personal collections are in storage until they can be worked into the new framework. One of the most popular of the new attractions, is the Apollo 13 Odyssey command module. Jim Lovell, Fred Raise and John Swigert drifted safely back to Earth in the module after an explosion damaged the craft during a moon mission in 1970. A companion business to the Cosmos- phere — Space Works — did extensive work in building sets for the "Apollo 13" movie. About 80 percent of the props, including spacecraft and spacesuits, were designed and built by Space Works workers. The success of the movie has sparked renewed interest in space travel and the Shop 'til you drop, then indulge ip a little entertainment or a bite in the food court. Finish your tour with dessert, then head for a show! Enjoy great food, fantastic stores and our fabulous fountain! Don't miss the fascinating fish at our aquarium, the largest freestanding aquarium In Kansas! Whatever you are looking for, shopping, entertainment, or great food, you'H find it at Central Mall, Salina! CENTRALMALL 2259 South 9th, Salina, KS For more information call the Customer Service Center at (913) 825-4305 space program, Ollenburger said. "Movies like that strike a chord in all generations, evoke vivid memories in those who lived through that time and helped younger people relearn the history. That makes people excited about space," Ollenburger said. The museum's German gallery exhibits rare VI and V2 rockets. The rockets were developed during World War II by the Nazis and used to bomb Europe from a. distance. The gallery is meant to be a reminder of the concentration camps where the rockets were made. The rockets are much like the missiles of today and laid the groundwork for future space technology. Nazi scientists, fleeing Germany at the end of World War II, set the tone for the Russian and American space race. "We wanted to show the historical impact of the rocket program but also the atrocities. More people died making them than from the bombs themselves," he said. The museum's new exhibits also include a collection of Russian space artifacts that has been touted as the largest collection of such items outside of Russia. The soviet pieces include Soyuz and Vostok spacecraft. Proud to be Salina's Official Co u n t r y S t a mp e d e S t a t i o n > with Bill Ray and the Barnyard Bunch Tune In To Eagle Country 99' ForToday's Hot New Country, Contests, Prizes, And The Most-FtinYou Can Have While ListeningToYour Radio. Tty Manhattan First! 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