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Great Bend student completes Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center program
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Wyatt Smith of Great Bend, son of Craig Smith, graduated from Space 301 of Kansas Adventures in Outer Space (KAOS) June 11 at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center. Wyatt will be entering grade 10 at Ellinwood High School this fall.

The week-long astronaut camp is for students entering grades 9-12 and emphasizes teamwork, leadership, and problem solving. Developed by Cosmosphere staff, KAOS is a nationally-recognized camp that motivates campers to seek careers in science or aerospace-related industries. This camp builds on knowledge gained from Space 101 and Space 201.

Space 301 campers spend two days at the Cosmosphere, then travel to Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas for further training. While there, campers tour the former and current Mission Control Centers and Building 9, which houses NASA’s space shuttle trainers and the International Space Station mock-up. KAOS campers also tour the vacuum chamber and the Neutral Buoyancy Labs 6.2-million-gallon pool, where astronauts train for work in microgravity. Both of these facilities were used in the movie Armageddon.

Before traveling to Houston, campers train at the Cosmosphere in the 4-G Centrifuge and in the multi-axis trainer. The campers training at the Cosmosphere culminates in an advanced mission aboard the Cosmospheres Falcon III, the most realistic space shuttle simulator outside of NASA.

The centrifuge is a rotating device that tests peoples reactions to forces encountered during launch and reentry; the multi-axis trainer spins riders 360 degrees in multiple axes while simulating tumble-type maneuvers that could be encountered in spaceflight; the Falcon III simulates launch, orbit, satellite deployment, reentry and landing.

This is just one of the Cosmospheres educational camps. For more information about this or other camps, call the education coordinator at 800.397.0330, ext. 323, or visit The Cosmosphere is located at 1100 N. Plum, Hutchinson, Kan.

The Cosmosphere offers camp programs for students as young as those going into second grade, and on through high school age. Camps are available for adults, including some for intergenerational learning that grandparents or parents as young as 40 can attend with their children or grandchildren. Camp experiences are also offered for groups, including schools who want a program designed just for them, and corporate team building. The Cosmosphere also has programs designed specifically for Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Webelos.

The Cosmospheres Kansas Adventures in Outer Space (KAOS) (formerly the Future Astronaut Training Program) has five levels. Space 101 and 201 are held at the Cosmosphere and nearby areas; Space 301 is held at the Cosmosphere for two days and then at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas for two days; and Space 401 is held at Kennedy Space Center in Florida for all five days; Space 501 is open to all ages, including adults, and focuses on visits to commercial space facilities in California. For more information call 800-397-0330, ext. 323.

The Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to Honoring the Past and Inspiring the Future of Space Exploration. Educating people from around the globe, the Cosmosphere boasts the Hall of Space museum, the most significant collection of U.S. and Russian space artifacts in the world; the Justice Planetarium, a dome-shaped classroom where attendants learn about astronomy; Dr. Goddards Lab, a live demonstration of early rocket technology; the Carey IMAX Dome Theater, one of the first ones built in the world; and a multitude of special events and programs.