Space, humankind’s final frontier, is the best place to set a shot-put record and the only nursery for baby stars. Probe its astronomical depths with today’s Groupon: for $8, you get an all-day mission pass (up to a $17 value) to the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center in Hutchinson, about an hour outside of Wichita.
The 105,000-square-foot, Smithsonian-affiliated museum, which was voted one of the Eight Wonders of Kansas in 2008, boasts the second-largest collection of space artifacts in the United States (behind only the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.). An all-day mission pass gets you access to all the museum’s treasures: the Carey IMAX Dome Theater, Justice Planetarium, Dr. Goddard’s Lab, and the Hall of Space Museum. Start by strolling through the Hall of Space, where notable space souvenirs such as the command module from Apollo 13 and the Liberty Bell 7 Mercury capsule chronicle mankind's courtship with the cosmos. Then explore Dr. Goddard’s Lab, a replica of the 1930s laboratory where Dr. Robert Goddard pioneered modern rocketry. Explosive reenactments of the doctor's attempts to find the right rocket fuel, figure out how to circumvent gravity, and lick his elbows are performed daily to delight children and their copilots. Click here to download a basic museum itinerary.
When your trek across the Cosmosphere’s outer-space space ends, kick back at the Justice Planetarium for a dazzling multimedia journey on a domed overhead screen. Or head to the Carey IMAX Dome Theater, which has booming surround sound and a 44-foot screen, to see Hubble, which looks through the famous telescope at the world beyond the world. Check the museum’s calendar for upcoming events.
- I was very impressed with the museum and all of the pieces they have from history. – BeckyLeigh, TripAdvisor
- I enjoyed each of the space capsules, the Lunar Lander and the Lunar Rover. Just as impressive is the display of space suits from the earliest to the actual ones used on the moon. – UltimateTravelKing, TripAdvisor
- History is so often just a chapter in books. Here it is "real." – TheTruthAsISeeIt, TripAdvisor