Where in the World is this shuttle? - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Where in the World is this shuttle?

February 7, 2003

Another press conference of Saturday's disaster plays for no one who can hear anymore. A few flowers lay outside in memory, and a full scale shuttle orbiter watches over everyone who enters.

"We are here to continue the legacy of these astronauts."

Carole Rutland oversees the Challenger learning center, where everyday dozens of school children rise to the challenge of a mission in space, and the chance to guide their crew through a list of mission experiments.

"In addition to isolation, the probe, and other stations, we also have a life support station which is very important."

Ironically, it took a disaster to pay for this success--- a center to keep young people aiming for the stars with a math and science background. This is the 25th learning center of it's kind in the nation, with lessons plans that now include the story of the Columbia crash.

"Kids ask about it in the beginning, but they only talk about it for a moment, and then they are ready to move on."

And while this space mission is simulated, the disaster is very real, and so is the determination of those who visit here--the Coca a cola Space Science Center in Columbus-- to continue the legacy of those who made the ultimate sacrifice to explore the heavens above, and now call it home.

The center is on the campus of Columbus State University, and was paid for by a grant from families of the Challenger disaster. It is located on Front street and is open Tuesday through Sunday.

posted at 2:00PM by: kentw@walb.com