SCIENCE

Challenger, Columbia wreckage on public display for 1st time; NASA exhibit also honors 14 dead

  • This Tuesday, July 21, 2015 photo shows a side body panel of space shuttle Challenger, left, and the cockpit widows of Columbia, right, displayed at the Forever Remembered exhibit and memorial for the astronauts that perished on the two shuttles at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

    This Tuesday, July 21, 2015 photo shows a side body panel of space shuttle Challenger, left, and the cockpit widows of Columbia, right, displayed at the Forever Remembered exhibit and memorial for the astronauts that perished on the two shuttles at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Tuesday, July 21, 2015 photo, the left side body panel of space shuttle Challenger is displayed in a glass case at  the "Forever Remembered" exhibit at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Challenger's wreckage _ all 118 tons of it, salvaged from the Atlantic _ was buried in a pair of former missile silos, 90 feet deep. The chamber containing this particular fuselage section had never been opened _ until the exhibit began to take shape. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

    In this Tuesday, July 21, 2015 photo, the left side body panel of space shuttle Challenger is displayed in a glass case at the "Forever Remembered" exhibit at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Challenger's wreckage _ all 118 tons of it, salvaged from the Atlantic _ was buried in a pair of former missile silos, 90 feet deep. The chamber containing this particular fuselage section had never been opened _ until the exhibit began to take shape. (AP Photo/John Raoux)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Tuesday, July 21, 2015 photo, visitors look over display cases at the "Forever Remembered" exhibit and memorial for the astronauts that perished on the Columbia and Challenger space shuttles, at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Cape Canaveral, Fla. NASA's intent is to show how the astronauts lived, rather than how they died. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

    In this Tuesday, July 21, 2015 photo, visitors look over display cases at the "Forever Remembered" exhibit and memorial for the astronauts that perished on the Columbia and Challenger space shuttles, at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Cape Canaveral, Fla. NASA's intent is to show how the astronauts lived, rather than how they died. (AP Photo/John Raoux)  (The Associated Press)

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 in Florida 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 and the first time that any Challenger or Columbia remains have been openly displayed.

NASA's intent is to show how the astronauts lived, rather than how they died. So there are no pictures in the "Forever Remembered" exhibit of Challenger breaking apart in the Florida sky nearly 30 years ago or Columbia debris raining down on Texas 12 years ago.