posted 04-29-2005 12:25 AM
Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center Release
The Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center’s newest gallery, the Mollett Early Spaceflight Gallery will open to the public on Saturday, June 18, 2005.
In a private celebration for Cosmosphere donors and premium-level members, Scott Carpenter, one of the Original 7 Mercury astronauts, will officially open the gallery on Friday, June 17.
Continuing the gallery’s opening festivities, a public book signing with Carpenter will be held from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, June 18, in the Cosmosphere’s Grand Lobby. During the public book signing session, Carpenter will only be signing copies of his book, For Spacious Skies: The Uncommon Journey of a Mercury Astronaut. Copies of the book are available for purchase in the Cosmosphere’s Cargo Bay Gift Store.
Funded through the generosity of donors including the gallery naming gift contributed by the Clarence and Mary Jane Mollett family, Hutchinson, Kans., the Mollett Early Spaceflight Gallery will showcase manned space exploration efforts that began in 1959. Allowing visitors to go back in time and see the hardware and technology developed to get man into space, the new gallery’s layout and design gives visitors the opportunity to witness the Space Race from both the U.S. and Russian perspectives.
“Mary Jane and I have been long-time supporters of the Cosmosphere and we view the success of the new gallery as crucial to the Cosmosphere’s ability to maintain its reputation as a world-class museum,” said Clarence Mollett.
Beginning near an actual section of the German Wall at the conclusion of the Cold War Gallery, the Mollett Early Spaceflight Gallery will bring some of the Cosmosphere’s most important artifacts to the museum floor. The gallery will feature historical artifacts, including the flown Gemini X spacecraft, a flown Russian Vostok, a full-scale engineering model of the Voskhod, from both the American and Soviet programs, as well as space suits used in the Mercury and Gemini, and Vostok and Voskhod programs. Additionally, Gus Grissom’s Liberty Bell 7 spacecraft will be on display in the gallery after the conclusion of its national tour in early 2006.
Anyone interested in attending the special Mollett Early Spaceflight Gallery membership event may do so by purchasing a premium-level membership or upgrading their current membership before May 27, 2005.
For more information on these or any other activities at the Cosmosphere, visit www.cosmo.org or call 620.662.2305 or 800.397.0330.
For more information on the Mollett Early Spaceflight Gallery, see: Construction begins on spaceflight gallery
[This message has been edited by Robert Pearlman (edited April 29, 2005).]