Their Spirits Circle the Earth

Battelle Riverfront Park 25 Marconi Blvd

Columbus Historic Memorials Walking Tour/Their Spirits Circle the Earth
VAMONDE Columbus
Written By VAMONDE Columbus

Their Spirits Circle the Earth

Their Spirits Circle the Earth, also known as the Challenger Memorial, is an outdoor memorial dedicated to the victims of the Space Shuttle, Challenger Disaster. It was created by Jim Mason and is located in Columbus' Battelle Riverfront Park.

The artwork features a brass ball with a 13.5-inch (34 cm) diameter on a granite slab, measuring approximately 3 ft. 6 in. x 1 ft. 1.5 in. x 3 ft. 6 in. The sculpture rests on a concrete base measuring approximately 4 in. x 1 ft. 4 in. x 4 ft. 2 in. An inscription on one side reads: THEIR SPIRITS / CIRCLE / THE EARTH" / Sponsored by / The Burger King Corporation / and Their / Columbus, Ohio franchises / January 28, 1987". An inscription on a plaque reads: "Francis R. Scobee, Flight Commander / Michael J. Smith / Ronald E. McNair / Ellison S. Onizuka / Judith A. Resnik / Gregory B. Jarvis / Sharon Christa McAuliffe / They Accepted the Challenge / In memory of the courage and pioneering spirit of / the seven astronauts who perished aboard the / challenger on Jan. 28, 1986 / Designed and dedicated by the children of Columbus / Mayor Dana G. Rinehart / Jan. 28, 1987"

About the Challenger Disaster

On January 28, 1986, the NASA shuttle orbiter undertaking a mission broke apart 73 seconds into its flight, killing all seven crew members: five NASA astronauts, one payload specialist, and a civilian school teacher. The spacecraft disintegrated over the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 11:39 a.m. EST. The failure was caused by the failure of O-ring seals used in the joint that were not designed to handle the unusually cold conditions that existed at this launch. This disaster was widely publicized and the details of the event are used as a case study to understand workplace ethics and engineering systems.

Explore this piece in the 1992 Save Outdoor Sculpture! Smithsonian Project
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Information sourced from Wikipedia

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Columbus Historic Memorials Walking Tour

Their Spirits Circle the Earth

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