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Rare NASA Artifact From The Space Shuttle Columbia On Display At Tellus Science Museum

March 22, 2014 Attraction No Comments Email Email

A piece of NASA’s Columbia Space Shuttle now resides at Tellus Science Museum.

Donated by NASA’s Historical Artifacts Program, the nose cap from the Space Shuttle Columbia will go on display as part of Tellus’ permanent space exhibit on Friday March 14.

Nose cap from Space Shuttle Columbia on display at Tellus Science Museum. (PRNewsFoto/Tellus Science Museum)

Space Shuttle Columbia was America’s first Space Shuttle and first reusable spacecraft. It flew 28 flights over the course of nearly 22 years, orbiting the Earth 4,908 times covering nearly 122 million miles. It is most notably remembered as disintegrating while re-entering the atmosphere from its final mission. All 7 crew members perished on board. As a result, Space Shuttle flights were suspended for 2 years while NASA conducted an investigation.

The nose cap of the shuttle was used on 11 missions. It was removed and replaced before the final fateful mission, and is significant because it is one of the few surviving pieces of the historic spacecraft that flew into space. The oval dome-shaped piece is five feet wide and has black, visible scorch marks to evidence its re-entry.

“The nose cap represents a momentous, historic and very important addition to our growing collection of items that tell the heroic story of our exploration of space,” said Tellus Curator Julian Gray.

It is the fourth Space Shuttle related artifact Tellus has received. The other three include two shuttle tires and a fuel cell. The tires were flown once each on Atlantis and Discovery. The fuel cell traveled in space on twenty different missions.

Tellus is a 120,000 square foot science museum located in Cartersville, just north of Atlanta. For more information about Tellus Science Museum call 770-606-5700 or visit or

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