At the Science Spectrum, the empty space suit next to the display of shuttle heat shield tiles has been transformed into more than just a marvel of technology. A table in the lobby holds paper and pen for people to express their feelings.
"We will provide people with the opportunity to write a letter to NASA, the astronauts families, to whoever," said Spectrum Marketing Director Wes Wise. "We're collecting those letters and then we'll take them as a bundle and mail them to NASA probably next week," he said.
High school junior Erika Church was looking for cartoons Saturday morning when news of the disaster first broke. "Actually my TV was tuned to CNN and I clicked over to the cartoons, and it was there, and I was like, 'Oh my God, this is big," she said.
Exchange student Serik Sharipov is from Kazakhstan, witnessing an American tragedy through foreign eyes. "All Americans are concerned about the people who died, about the families," he said.
Danny Gross, he was having breakfast at his grandparents house on February first. "I got up, my grandma was watching it, and I looked at it and I was kind of stunned," he said.
"I just wanted to tell the families how sorry I am," said Erika. "And that I'm praying for them, and that pretty much all of America is behind them right now, and they can go just about anywhere and they can get help if they need it," she said.
"Although a terrible thing happened, still a lot of people think optimistically," observed Serik.
"I just asked them how could this happen, and they didn't have an answer for me," said Danny.
Condolences, perspectives, questions. All an effort to make sense of a tragedy. Looking for answers anywhere. Even in a poster of the cockpit of the shuttle Columbia.