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Hutch's Cosmosphere has 'Big Bang' connections

By KRISTEN RODERICK

Special to The Hays Daily News

HUTCHINSON -- "The Big Bang Theory" probably is not filming an episode at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center.

But the Cosmosphere has worked with the hit CBS show to send one of its characters to "space." Production designer John Shaffner and set director Ann Shea asked the Cosmosphere's SpaceWorks to provide technical advice on designing the Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

In the episodes, character Howard Wolowitz, portrayed by actor Simon Helberg, was sent to space.

The Cosmosphere was mentioned in an article on space.com that described how Wolowitz got "to space." Shaffner and Shea received photos from NASA for the Soyuz and turned to SpaceWorks -- the Cosmosphere's restoration, replication and refabrication facility -- to find the dimensions. Scavenged parts from an aerospace junkyard in Los Angeles helped piece together the capsule.

The episodes with the spacecraft aired in seasons five and six.

In addition, Dick Hollowell, chief executive officer of the Cosmosphere, told the Hutchinson News the Cosmosphere will have a live broadcast of the season premiere of "The Big Bang Theory" in September.

"There will likely be some very special guests at this event, so fans of the show will want to keep their calendars open," he wrote.