It all started when…
In the wake of the Challenger accident in 1986, The Astronauts Memorial Foundation was founded. AMF honors U.S. astronauts and astronauts who flew with U.S. crews on American Space Ships, who have lost their lives while on a U.S. government mission or in training. Twenty-four astronauts are now honored by AMF.
AMF is a private, not-for-profit organization approved by NASA to build and maintain two major facilities at the John F. Kennedy Space Center's Visitor Complex:
The Space Mirror Memorial, designated as a national memorial by Congress and President George Bush, was dedicated in 1991.
The Center for Space Education, the "living memorial", was opened in 1994. Its mission is to foster an understanding of space exploration and to improve education through technology.
Both of these facilities are truly gifts to the nation from the people of Florida. Most of the funds for constructing and maintaining these facilities have been proceeds from the sales of Florida's Challenger Columbia license plate. AMF receives fifty percent of the proceeds from the sale of the plates.
Thousands of corporations, foundations and individuals have also made contributions to AMF to support the facilities and the programs of the Foundation.