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Students Keep Memory of Fallen Astronauts Alive | News

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Students Keep Memory of Fallen Astronauts Alive

LAS VEGAS -- Future astronauts and scientists at a Las Vegas elementary school are keeping the memory of space shuttle Columbia alive. Eight years ago, the shuttle broke up during re-entry, killing all seven member crew members.

The parents of one astronaut aboard lived in Las Vegas. Students are remembering him and the mission at the William McCool Science Center at Lamping Elementary. The center opened five years ago in honor of Columbia's commander William McCool -- a pilot making his first space flight.

At just 10 and 11-years-old, fifth graders at Lamping are learning what some spend their entire lives trying to understand. Working as a team is the only way the model space shuttle simulator inside the McCool Science Center can accomplish anything.

Clark County schools from all over the district spend almost an hour per week at this center.

"It's an opportunity for our students to take a moment and learn some of the history of the space program and understand some of the sacrifices that were involved," said Principal Robert Soloman. "His family lived within our community and wanted to make sure that we could tell his story to younger generations and make sure they understood what it is he learned and what the space program had to offer."

It's a journey educators hope drives these minds anywhere they want to go.

"I don't know how they learn all that. It's just amazing," said student Alyssa Quigley.


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