VIDEO: ‘Forever Remembered’ Exhibit Honoring Challenger and Columbia Opens at KSC
By NASA // June 28, 2015
'It is a story of hope'
ABOVE VIDEO: Kennedy Space Center Director Robert Cabana and NASA Administrator Charles Bolden officially opened the “Forever Remembered” public exhibit June 27, 2015, at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida. NASA and astronaut families collaborated on the memorial designed to honor the crews lost on missions STS-51L and STS-107, pay tribute to shuttles Challenger and Columbia, and emphasize the importance of learning from the past. Challenger and Columbia astronaut family members attended the opening ceremony. Encompassing nearly 2,000 square feet, the memorial contains the largest collection of personal items of both flight crews. It also includes recovered hardware from both Challenger and Columbia, never before displayed for the public.
BREVARD COUNTY • KENENDY SPACE CENTER, FLORIDA – “Forever Remembered” opened Saturday at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida, where it completes NASA’s 30-year Space Shuttle Program story told throughout the Space Shuttle Atlantis exhibit.
Encompassing nearly 2,000 square feet, the memorial contains the largest collection of personal items of both flight crews. It also includes recovered hardware from both Challenger and Columbia, never before on display for viewing by the public.
Family members were present at a small ceremony as the memorial was formally opened by NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and Kennedy Space Center Director Bob Cabana, both veteran shuttle astronauts.
“The crews of Challenger and Columbia are forever a part of a story that is ongoing,” Bolden said. “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.”
The Space Shuttle Program story is full of spectacular successes. From its maiden voyage in 1981 to its final touchdown in 2011, the capable, reusable delta-winged vehicle captivated a generation. Teams of astronauts pulled off seemingly impossible feats in Earth orbit while a cast of thousands supported them from the ground.
But the shuttle story also includes the losses of 14 courageous astronauts and the nation’s first two shuttles, Columbia and Challenger. The tragedies galvanized the agency to learn from these painful events, not only to safely return the shuttle fleet to flight, but to help assure the safety of future explorers.
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