The Cosmosphere’s exhibit design and space artifact restoration and replication department, Spaceworks, has been very busy these past few years, and will likely stay that way.
The Cosmosphere recently completed its work on a 2-year project for the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum (EASM) in McMinnville, Oregon and began a new project for the Great Lakes Aerospace Science and Education Center (GLASEC) in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.
Together, the contracts are worth a total of more than $2.6 million.
“These contracts are allowing us to stay at the forefront of exhibit development and restoration,” said Jim Remar, Cosmosphere Senior Vice President. “Every new project has the potential to lead to more restoration and exhibit work as word spreads about our capabilities.”
EASM, which opened to the public June 6, hired the Cosmosphere in September 2006 to design and build a space exhibit, as well as to loan several space artifacts to the exhibit. The contract was the largest in the Cosmosphere’s history of replication and exhibit work.
Artifacts the Cosmosphere loaned to EASM included Mercury spacecraft No. 10, segments of the German Wall, packaged space food from Apollo 8, mission control consoles, shuttle tires and Russian RD-107 engines. Items built by the Cosmosphere’s replication craftsmen for the project included a lunar module simulator, shuttle simulator and the exhibit’s primary display units.
Then, in March of this year, GLASEC, set to be completed in 2010, hired the Cosmosphere to develop educational programming, as well as preliminary designs and concepts for the up-coming space center’s museum. The Cosmosphere is also serving as one of GLASEC’s primary consultants throughout the building and development process.
But working on other museums will not shift the Cosmosphere’s focus from the Hall of Space Museum.
“If we continue to receive projects for work on other museums, we will hire more replication and restoration staff so we can focus on the Hall of Space Museum and the others simultaneously,” Remar said.
Cosmosphere educators were at GLASEC May 5-9 holding educational workshops for approximately 800 Sheboygan-area students. The purpose of the workshops was to show the community what the educational facility can offer once it opens and to excite students.
“It’s great to see the kids so excited about what they’re learning,” said Cosmosphere President and CEO Chris Orwoll, who was in Sheboygan for the event. “GLASEC is going to be a great educational resource for these kids.”
At the event, the Cosmosphere taught subjects related to its camp curriculum, including the effects of microgravity on human physiology, the principles of aerodynamics and stability and the technology behind robots and spacesuits.
The Cosmosphere also performed its live rocket demonstration show Dr. Goddard’s Lab and provided U.S. and Russian space artifacts for temporary display at the center.
“My daughter could not wait for me to get home to tell me about her day,” wrote parent Anthony Rammer in an e-mail to GLASEC. “She spent most of the night making rockets out of paper and trying to perfect their flight. And she thinks being an astronaut or working for NASA would be so cool.”
The Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing patrons’ knowledge of space exploration. Educating people from around the globe, the Cosmosphere features the Hall of Space museum, one of the most significant collections of U.S. and Russian space artifacts in the world; the Justice Planetarium, a dome-shaped theater dedicated to astronomy; Dr. Goddard’s Lab, a live demonstration of early rocket technology; the Carey IMAX® Dome Theater, the 12th IMAX® theater built in the world; the Astronaut Experience, an interactive exhibit; and summer astronaut training camps.