Kansas Cosmosphere Vote Passes on Election Night

The Apollo 13 Odyssey spacecraft at the Kansas Cosmosphere. (Elizabeth Howell)

As an update to our story yesterday, more than 70 per cent of residents in Hutchinson, KS voted to keep tax money flowing into the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center. The museum is located in the community, which is about an hour north of Wichita.

Museum officials were closely watching the vote Tuesday night, which took place at the same time as the U.S. general election for convenience’s sake.

The Cosmosphere gets 18% of its revenues from the city sales tax, which puts 33% of a quarter-cent aside for the Cosmosphere. Additional sales tax funds go to a nearby salt museum, as well as other city initiatives.

The tax vote takes place every five years, and this is the fifth time the measure has been approved, the museum noted. The votes tallied showed 8,935 people in favour and 3,635 opposed.

“The community’s response to the Cosmosphere’s request for continued commitment to the quarter-cent sales tax is greatly appreciated,” said Becky Christner, the Cosmosphere’s marketing and sales manager, in an e-mail to Universe Today.

“We look forward to continuing to serve the community as we work daily to succeed at our mission of honoring the past and inspiring the future of space exploration.”

The Cosmosphere is looking to expand its restoration, exhibition and fabrication customers in the coming years to bring in more revenue to the museum.

Past projects the Cosmosphere is known for:

– Rebuilding the Apollo 13 Odyssey spacecraft, which was torn apart for an accident investigation following a near-fatal explosion;

– Restoring the Liberty Bell 7 spacecraft, which sank at the end of its mission in space, and spent decades in a shallow part of the Atlantic Ocean;

– Film and television productions such as Apollo 13, From the Earth to the Moon and Magnificent Desolation.