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Michael Ciannilli

Astronaut mementoes: Cowboy boots, prayer beads, lunch box

in Apolitical/Top Headlines by

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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