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Published: June 23rd 2016
We spent the weekend catching up with our USA family and their friends (lovely bunch of people). We met three more travelling companions for our upcoming road trip to Colorado next week.
What better trip to do on a Monday than to travel to space - the final frontier ( for all you trekkie fans). Kurt drove us to Hutchinson where we entered the Cosmosphere to be greeted by a stealth bomber, a B15 and a space shuttle suspended high overhead in the entry foyer. Nearby in the kids zone was an activity table for children to make folded rockets - several of which were adorning the stealth bomber. They also had a model shuttle complete with lego astronauts. I wanted to take it home for the grandkids but I doubted it would fit in the travel pack.
Entering the underground museum, "To the Stars with Difficulties" we firstly encountered a display describing the development of the V Rockets during the Second World War. I was initially puzzled why they were on display until I read that these were the first guided ballistic liquid-propellant missiles/ rocket engines and their significance to the space race. One of the statistics about
the 12,000 fired labourers and prisoners who died producing the weapons exceeded the number of 9000 civilians and military personnel killed by the V rockets. At the same time as the war ended, the news clipping announcing victory in Europe (VE) showed a small news article announcing that cigarettes were no longer to be bought individually - ironic that another major cause of death would be encouraged by bulk buying of the cigarette - little did they know the damage that decision would cause too.
The museum was indeed a fascinating journey through the many trials, challenges, inventions, failures and successes of the race to space. Spearheaded by the competition between the "Chief Designer" and the "Rocket Fuhrer, the many and varied displays, working models, and actual space vehicles were indeed a journey to the stars. I understand now where the first Star Wars began. It made me feel a little bit old when I reflected on where I was and how old I was when man first set foot on the moon.
We were engrossed for several hours perusing the exhibits and getting a feel for the technology that was developed to aid the space race and
which is now an integral part of our own use of technology.
I highly recommend a visit to the Cosmosphere in Hutchinson when in the area.
I am about to hitch a ride to the stars. See you in the ionosphere.
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