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Christa McAuliffe

Challenger, Columbia wreckage on public display for 1st time

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NASA is offering up wreckage from the Challenger and Columbia for public view after hiding it from the world for decades. A new exhibit at Kennedy Space Center features two pieces of debris, one from each lost shuttle, as well as poignant, personal reminders of the 14 astronauts killed in flight. It is an unprecedented collection of artifacts – the first time, in fact, that any Challenger or Columbia remains have been openly displayed. NASA’s intent is to show how…

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Astronaut mementoes: Cowboy boots, prayer beads, lunch box

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The 14 display cases at Kennedy Space Center contain intensely personal mementoes and other items representing the astronauts who perished in the Challenger and Columbia accidents. They are part of NASA’s new “Forever Remembered” exhibit, which includes the first public display of pieces from each lost space shuttle. NASA’s Michael Ciannilli began contacting the astronauts’ families in 2012, gently consulting with them and collecting belongings. Every encounter, he said, left him ever more humbled. A few families were reluctant to…

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