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  Water table levels cause problems at Cosmosphere

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Author Topic:   Water table levels cause problems at Cosmosphere
PowerCat
Member

Posts: 148
From: Herington, KS, USA
Registered: Feb 2006

posted 06-20-2007 10:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for PowerCat   Click Here to Email PowerCat     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I received a letter from the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center yesterday to inform members that the facility suffered interior damage due to recent severe flooding during May in the Hutchinson, KS area. They sent along some scanned photos that showed carpets and floors ruined, some to the point that at least 2-3 galleries had to be closed to the public.

The Cosmosphere is seeking funding to install pumping wells. The water table has risen dramatically and is the cause of the water problem. The water removed will be piped to storm sewers. According to the mailing, contributions can be sent to:

Kansas Cosmoshere and Space Center
1100 North Plum
Hutchinson, KS 67501

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-20-2007 10:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by PowerCat:
They sent along some scanned photos that showed carpets and floors ruined, some to the point that at least 2-3 galleries had to be closed to the public.
Just to add to the above, here is the release that the Cosmosphere posted to the website on June 7. Note that no artifacts were damaged, only the facilities:
quote:
Water table levels cause problems at museum

The Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center’s Hall of Space Museum is temporarily closed due to rising water levels from the underground water table. Excessive water from the aquifer is seeping through small cracks in the basement floor of the 22-year-old building.

“We have staff working 24 hours a day, but the work being done in the museum to mitigate the water problem does not support having guests down there right now,” said Chris Orwoll, Cosmosphere president and CEO. “We hope to reopen it soon, but for safety reasons, the Hall of Space Museum will remain closed until further notice,”

Though no artifacts are damaged, the carpet is wet in areas throughout the museum. To fix the problem, the Cosmosphere temporarily hired additional maintenance staff to pump water and dry the carpet.

The Carey IMAX® Dome Theater, Justice Planetarium, Dr. Goddard’s Lab, Magic for Muggles and summer camps are still operating.

Because admittance to the museum is part of the All-Day Mission Pass, patrons who purchase the pass can accept a voucher for free museum admittance or receive an extra IMAX movie ticket.


mdmyer
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Posts: 899
From: Humboldt KS USA
Registered: Dec 2003

posted 06-20-2007 10:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mdmyer   Click Here to Email mdmyer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Along with the letter they Cosmosphere sent photos of the water damaged areas:

LCDR Scott Schneeweis
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posted 06-21-2007 11:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LCDR Scott Schneeweis   Click Here to Email LCDR Scott Schneeweis     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
One wonders what the long term impact is to the artifacts as that water evaporates and increases relative humidity..

------------------
Scott Schneeweis

URL http://www.SPACEAHOLIC.com/

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-21-2007 01:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Regarding humidity and the artifacts, the Hutchinson News reported on June 8:
quote:
Each enclosed artifact case in the closed museum is equipped with a sensor tracking the temperature and humidity. Ideally, Orwoll said, the temperature should be about 68 or 70 degrees, with about 40 percent to 50 percent humidity.

As of Thursday morning, the only artifact that staff had to remove because of rising humidity was late astronaut's Walter Schirra's spacesuit, worn on his 1962 Mercury space flight.

It was taken to the collections' vault, which is on the basement level but safe from water.


On June 15, workers drilled 40 feet into the ground to create two relief wells, reports the Associated Press.

According to a note posted to the Cosmosphere's website, the Hall of Space Museum reopened on June 20, after having been closed to the public since June 7.

mdmyer
Member

Posts: 899
From: Humboldt KS USA
Registered: Dec 2003

posted 06-25-2007 11:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mdmyer   Click Here to Email mdmyer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
On June 15, workers drilled 40 feet into the ground to create two relief wells, reports the Associated Press.

According to a note posted to the Cosmosphere's website, the Hall of Space Museum reopened on June 20, after having been closed to the public since June 7.


I took Miranda to the Kansas Cosmosphere's Future Astronaut Training Program Sunday. She is in Level Two Session Two.

I noticed the pumping wells are still pumping. They are located at the southwest corner of the building. My guess is the hoses attached to the pumps are 4" in diameter and both were running a constant full stream of water out of them.

The Future Astronaut Training Program classrooms and sims are on the second floor above ground. The Hall of Space Museum is below ground level and we did not go down to the Museum. We could look down from the upper floor because the Cosmosphere's LEM extends up from the lower floor through the upper. We could see where some of the carpet had been removed and there was still a wet stain in the "lunar surface" near the LEM.

Needless to say this is an on going problem and the Cosmosphere will put any donations to good use.

Mike Myer
Humboldt, KS

Dwayne Day
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Posts: 532
From:
Registered: Feb 2004

posted 07-19-2007 02:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dwayne Day   Click Here to Email Dwayne Day     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was there on July 9 and most of that water damage in the exhibits area appeared to have been fixed. They were actually removing fans and dehumidifiers while I was there.

However, the hoses were still pumping a lot of water out into the street, so they must have had a LOT of water in that subbasement. It's amazing that they didn't lose all their heating and electricity. Makes me wonder what's in the subbasement.

STEVE SMITH
Member

Posts: 480
From: WICHITA, KANSAS, USA
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 07-19-2007 02:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for STEVE SMITH   Click Here to Email STEVE SMITH     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Dwayne, had you been there before? Would love to hear what your impressions were. How was the KC conference?

mdmyer
Member

Posts: 899
From: Humboldt KS USA
Registered: Dec 2003

posted 07-19-2007 06:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mdmyer   Click Here to Email mdmyer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dwayne Day:
However, the hoses were still pumping a lot of water out into the street, so they must have had a LOT of water in that subbasement. It's amazing that they didn't lose all their heating and electricity. Makes me wonder what's in the subbasement.

The water was not in the sub-basement. It was in the underground aquifer. http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/earthgwaquifer.html In other words the water was in the Earth and rocks around the Cosmosphere and it was seeping in to the underground rooms in the Hall of Space Museum through the walls. The Cosmosphere had wells drilled or dug in to the aquifer to pump the ground water out of the aquifer. That is where the water is coming from.

Mike Myer
Humboldt KS

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