The Space Mirror Memorial (Astronaut Memorial)
The Space Mirror Memorial, also known as the Astronaut Memorial, is a memorial on the grounds of the John F. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex on Merritt Island, Florida. It is maintained by the Astronaut Memorial Foundation, whose offices are located in the NASA Center for Space Education next door to the Visitor Complex. The memorial was dedicated in 1991 to remember the lives of the men and women who have died in the various space programs of the United States particularly those of NASA. The Space Mirror Memorial has been designated a National Memorial by the U.S. Congress.
In addition to 20 NASA career astronauts, the memorial includes the names of a U.S. Air Force X-15 test pilot, a U.S. Air Force officer who died while training for a then-classified military space program, a civilian spaceflight participant who died in the Challenger disaster, and an Israeli astronaut who was killed during the Columbia Disaster.
The primary feature of the memorial is the Space Mirror, a large area of polished black granite, divided into 90 smaller panels. The names of the 24 astronauts who have died are scattered over the mirror, with names of astronauts who died in the same incident grouped on the same panel, or pairs of adjacent panels. The names are cut completely through the surface, exposing a translucent backing, and filled with translucent acrylic, which is then backlit with a combination of reflected sunlight (when available) and floodlights, causing the names to glow, and appear to float in a reflection of the sky.
Near the Space Mirror is a granite wall, bearing pictures and brief biographies of those listed on the Mirror.
The Astronaut Memorial was designed by Wes Jones of Holt Hinshaw Pfau Jones and was commissioned after he won an international design competition.
For the Astronaut Memorial project, Alliance Minerals (as its former name Gimplex Ltd.) was honored to donate our featured product - Indian Absolute Black Granite. The cut-to-size slabs used for this project were highly polished to create the breath-taking mirror effect, reflect the sunlight or floodlight, and make the names on the wall glow. Alliance Minerals honors the men and women who gave their lives in pursuit of the space dream. We are deeply thankful for the opportunity to help their names be honored in the reflection of the sky they strove so hard to reach.
You can find more reading regarding Space Mirror Memorial by following links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Mirror_Memorial; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gwsz7OzC8I4 http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/news/remembrance_2011.html