Launch Into Space at COSI’s Cosmic Summer Exhibit!
By Nick Dekker

Launch Into Space at COSI’s Cosmic Summer Exhibit!

We always know we can rely on COSI for an entertaining day for both the adults and the kids in our family. The museum offers room after room of activities for everyone, and it’s a great spot to warm up in the winter and beat the heat during the summer. Their space keeps growing, too, with the new planetarium, new park space coming outside, and the new dinosaur exhibition arriving this fall!

This summer they’ve assembled a group of space-themed activities titled Cosmic Summer. This includes loads of hands-on activities at the special Be The Astronaut exhibit, movies, and planetarium shows.

On the mezzanine level they have a small collection of space-themed exhibits that are always on display (if you know COSI, you’ll know this is right next to the high-wire unicycle).

These include a display about life on the International Space Station, and little consoles that let you practice landing on the surface of the moon or retrieving a satellite on the space shuttle.

The Cosmic Summer exhibit is free with your regular admission, and runs through September 4. It lets you interact with the entire space travel process. If you want, you can grab a special ID card at the front and swipe it at each console. This activates story-driven narration of each station, where someone comes on screen and explains the process.

It starts with exploring how rocket trajectories are calculated based on the positioning of earth and the moon. The touch displays let you practice different launch sequences to figure out the most efficient way to fly.

In the main room are a whole series of consoles that let you pilot aircraft and drive rovers.

Here’s my five-year-old following the process for piloting a futuristic (but practical) spacecraft from the earth to the moon. Little messages would pop up explaining the speed and angle of the spacecraft, and how to adjust them.

We visited the new planetarium, too. Tickets to it are extra, but you can save money by buying them with your admission. I have fond memories of planetarium visits as a kid, so I’m excited to be able to bring our kiddos to these shows. COSI’s planetarium shows are created by Ty Owen, who assembles the animation and music, and narrates the show.

There are three shows at the planetarium, themed around a planetary treasure hunt, the starry night sky, and asteroids. We caught the planetary treasure hunt, which took the audience exploring the moon, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. Ty was a wonderful host, offering plenty of chances for the audience to interact.

There is more to the space-themed adventures throughout COSI. Their giant screen theater is also showing Journey to Space in 3D!

COSI’s Cosmic Summer exhibition runs through September 4. Get tickets and info here!

Thanks to COSI for providing passes to explore the exhibit!

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