HUTCHINSON, Kan. — The Cosmosphere, a Smithsonian-affiliated science center and space museum in Hutchinson, KS, has decided to cancel its 50th anniversary gala celebration for the Apollo 13 mission. The non-profit museum is instead planning to hold an online auction to celebrate the Mission on Nov. 13. The auction will feature signed memorabilia from the mission’s crew and more.
As home to the authentic Apollo 13 spacecraft—Odyssey— the Cosmosphere had planned an event originally slated for April 2020 which featured crew members from the ill-fated mission, including astronauts Jim Lovell and Fred Haise. In light of the outbreak of COVID-19, the event was rescheduled to November 13.
“Ultimately, we have learned that the thing we can predict about a pandemic is that it is completely unpredictable,” Mimi Meredith, Senior VP of Development and Chief Development Officer for the Cosmosphere said. “In March, we hoped maybe the pandemic would have subsided enough for us to continue with holding our spectacular event in the fall. The fact is, no event is worth jeopardizing the health and safety of our guests and we can’t choose a date that allows us to provide the level of experience guests would enjoy while keeping them safe. We hope we can have a fun virtual celebration on November 13 instead.”
Information about the auction, including a list of items available, will be announced via the Cosmosphere social media channels, on its website and through emailed newsletters in
September. Interested participants are encouraged to sign up for Cosmosphere communications by visiting: https://cosmo.org/news-and-events/newsletter, and entering their preferred email into the fillable form.