Hutchinson Last week was a good week for the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center, as it received a $500,000 gift and a movie company said it plans to use Cosmosphere artifacts for a film.
Clarence and Mary Jane Mollett already had pledged $1.5 million to the museum, and center officials said they plan to use an additional $500,000 donation to complete a gallery dedicated to early spaceflight.
Cosmosphere President and CEO Jeff Ollenburger said the combined $2 million donation is one of the largest in the center's history.
Construction on the 4,000-square-foot gallery began about two months ago. The exhibit will include the Liberty Bell 7 space capsule as well as artifacts from the U.S. Mercury and Gemini programs and the Russian Vostok and Voskhod programs.
Meanwhile, actor Tom Hanks and IMAX plan to borrow a lunar module and lunar rover for filming "Magnificent Desolation 3D: Walking on the Moon." The film is expected to be released next fall.
This is the third time Hanks has come to the Cosmosphere for help.
He previously used the center's artifacts for "Apollo 13" and the HBO miniseries "From the Earth to the Moon."