HUTCHINSON, Kan. — Apollo-era legends will be part of the experience viewers can expect from Onward and Upward, the Cosmosphere’s first virtual telethon and auction, which will launch Sunday, Oct. 4, at 2 p.m.
The events, which will be accessible through the Cosmosphere’s Facebook page, will begin with a fundraising telethon that will include virtual tours of artifacts such as the Apollo 13 Command Module Odyssey and the Liberty Bell 7, along with guest appearances by individuals involved in space exploration from the Apollo and shuttle era to today. Those making an appearance include astronauts Fred Haise and Jim Lovell from Apollo 13, Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins, and Mission Control Flight Directors Gene Kranz and Gerry Griffin.
“While the goal is to raise operating funds for the Cosmosphere, it is also to inspire,” Mimi Meredith, Cosmosphere Sr. VP of Development and Chief Development Officer, said. “There’s nothing like the story of human spaceflight to remind us what incredible things we can do when we work together. That’s what the Cosmosphere, and the telethon, are all about — reminding us that seemingly insurmountable challenges can be overcome with tenacity and teamwork.”
The Onward and Upward Virtual Auction will kick off immediately following the telethon. It will offer hundreds of items ranging from travel experiences and artwork, to collectibles and autographed space memorabilia. The auction will be live until 5 p.m. on Oct. 18. Proceeds from both events will help the nonprofit museum overcome challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.