Tags: kennedy space center | shuttle | memorial | nasa

Kennedy Space Center Shuttle Memorial Honors Columbia, Challenger Crews

By    |   Monday, 29 Jun 2015 12:40 PM

The Kennedy Space Center opened a new, permanent shuttle memorial on Saturday to honor the courageous crews of the Challenger and Columbia space shuttles who lost their lives while in flight.

NASA, along with the families of the two crews, collaborated to create the "Forever Remembered" memorial exhibit, which opened in the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida last week. The exhibit, which spans 2,000 square feet and contains the largest collection of both crews’ personal belongings and never-before displayed shuttle hardware, was also created to complete NASA’s 30-year Space Shuttle Atlantis Exhibit, according to a NASA press release.

“The crews of Challenger and Columbia are forever a part of a story that is ongoing,” said NASA administrator Charles Bolden at the memorial’s Saturday opening, according to the press release. “It is the story of humankind’s evolving journey into space, the unknown, and the outer-reaches of knowledge, discovery, and possibility. It is a story of hope.”

Although the Space Shuttle Program has witnessed astounding successes ever since its maiden voyage in 1981 and until its retirement in 2011, NASA wanted to ensure that the loss of the 14 crew members and the nation’s first two shuttles would never be forgotten, according to CBS News. Family members of the 1986 Challenger crew and the 2003 Columbia crew attended the “Forever Remembered” opening on Saturday.

The Challenger's seven-member crew — which included commander Francis "Dick" Scobee, pilot Michael Smith, Ellison Onizuka, Judith Resnik, Ronald McNair, satellite engineer Gregory Jarvis, and teacher Christa McAuliffe — were killed when the shuttle disintegrated 73 seconds after liftoff, due to a rupture in one of its solid-fuel boosters, CBS News noted.

The Columbia's seven-member crew — which included commander Rick Husband, pilot William "Willie" McCool, David Brown, Kalpana Chawla, Michael Anderson, Laurel Clark, and Ilan Ramon — were killed during the shuttle’s re-entry because of wing damage caused by falling foam insulation.

“I believe that it’s important to share this story with everyone, and not just push it aside, or try to hide it,” said Kennedy Space Center director Bob Cabana during the memorial’s opening, according to the press release. “These crews and these vehicles are part of who we are as an agency, and a nation. They tell the story of our never ending quest to explore, and our undying spirit to never give up.”

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The Kennedy Space Center opened a new, permanent shuttle memorial on Saturday to honor the courageous crews of the Challenger and Columbia space shuttles who lost their lives while in flight.
kennedy space center, shuttle, memorial, nasa
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2015-40-29
Monday, 29 Jun 2015 12:40 PM
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