Hutchinson The Kansas Cosmosphere & Space Center in Hutchinson will open a gallery dedicated to unmanned space exploration.
The gallery will open Saturday with a speech by Todd Barber, a Wichita native who is a propulsion engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California.
The Hutchinson News reports that Barber is currently working on the latest Mars rover, Curiosity, which will launch next fall. A replica of the Curiosity is on display at the Cosmosphere through April.
The second phase of the project, which is set to open this August, will focus on commercial space exploration. Both phases are estimated to cost nearly $500,000.
The gallery gives visitors a chance to drive a Mars Rover in a virtual environment, view planets and moons in 3-D, and touch a meteorite.