Space Foundation News

Space Foundation Discovery Center Announces Newest Exhibit Honoring Space Shuttle Columbia

Written by: Space Foundation Editorial Team

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Jan. 19, 2023 – Space Foundation, a nonprofit advocate organization founded in 1983 for the global space ecosystem, today announced that its Space Foundation Discovery Center will open its newest exhibit, “With Dignity, Honor, and Reverence: The Recovery of Space Shuttle Columbia,” on Saturday, Feb. 4. The exhibit commemorates the 20th anniversary of the loss of the Space Shuttle Columbia and her crew that occurred on Feb. 1, 2003. It focuses on the lives that were lost, the intensive recovery and investigation efforts that followed, and how those lessons learned apply to today’s space programs.

In honoring the anniversary, “With Dignity, Honor, and Reverence: The Recovery of Space Shuttle Columbia” tells the story through five oral history interviews conducted in partnership with Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum and includes memorable objects, photographs, and more. The exhibit will join Space Foundation Discovery Center’s wide variety of space artifacts and interactive exhibits located in the El Pomar Space Gallery.

The exhibit interviewees include:

  • Col. Duane “Digger” Carey, USAF (Ret.), former NASA astronaut
  • Rich Cooper, vice president strategic communications & outreach, Space Foundation
  • Jeff Fladung, El Paso County Search and Rescue
  • Reginald Francklyn, El Paso County Search and Rescue
  • Elle O’Sullivan, volunteer, Laramie County Search and Rescue

Commenting on the exhibit, Space Foundation CEO Tom Zelibor said, “Exploration is not without risks, and the Columbia accident is one of the most heartbreaking events in spaceflight history. This exhibit is about remembering her crew, recognizing the expansive search and rescue efforts, and understanding the lessons we need to remember as we continue to explore the frontiers of space.”

About Space Foundation Discovery Center

Space Foundation Discovery Center is an interactive space museum and science center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. It is a hands-on, education-focused destination that advances awareness, access and training in space exploration and space-to-Earth industries for students, teachers, families and space enthusiasts. Partnerships with government and commercial enterprises support exhibits like the El Pomar Space Gallery; Northrop Grumman Science Center, featuring Science On a Sphere®; and Lockheed Martin Space Education Center. For more information, visit

About Space Foundation

Space Foundation is a nonprofit advocate organization founded in 1983, offering a gateway to information, education and collaboration for space exploration and space-to-Earth industries that define the global space ecosystem. Driven by a partnership model, Space Foundation operates three divisions that unite the entire spectrum of stakeholders – business, government, education and local communities – through support from corporate membership, sponsorship, fundraising and grants. Symposium 365 is the premier source for media and events, including the world-renowned Space Symposium and The Space Report; Center for Innovation and Education is a lifelong learning provider; and Global Alliance facilitates collaboration around the world. Visit Space Foundation at, and follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, InstagramTwitter and YouTube.


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Tags: Space Foundation, Space Foundation Discovery Center, NASA, Space Shuttle Columbia, space advocate, space education, space exploration, space ecosystem, space museum, science center, space-to-Earth industries

Media Contacts:

Rich Cooper
Vice President, Strategic Communications & Outreach
Space Foundation
(202) 596-0714
[email protected] Dottie O’Rourke
TECHMarket Communications
(650) 344-1260
[email protected]