By driving a few hours outside of Kansas City, you can — almost — go to space.
The Cosmosphere in Hutchinson, Kansas, has the largest collection of Russian space artifacts outside of Moscow and a collection of U.S. space artifacts second only to the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.
Founder Patty Carey had a love of the stars, raising money back in the early 1960s to purchase a used dome and a star projector.
Eventually, it grew in popularity throughout the community, and Carey wanted to do something bigger. She began the quest of developing an internationally recognized science education center and space museum, now called the Cosmosphere.
The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Upon walking into the lobby, visitors will immediately see an SR-71 Blackbird hanging above them.
Every artifact on display is either an actual flown artifact, a "flight-ready backup," an engineering model or an historically accurate replica.
The Cosmosphere is a Smithsonian affiliate. All-Access Mission Pass tickets are $22.50 for adults and $15.50 for children. Tax is not included in the price of tickets.