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Cambridge, MA

Exhibit Design: Proun Design, LLC
Exhibit Fabrication: WB Inc.
Installed: 2024

Ronald McNair was Mission Specialist for STS 51-L, when the Space Shuttle Challenger experienced a catastrophic failure 73 seconds into flight, resulting in the tragic deaths of all aboard. McNair was 36 years old. Ronald McNair’s life is a story of triumph over racial barriers, reflecting a toughness he claimed “was forged in the cotton fields of his youth.” Raised in a small South Carolina town where segregation and the Ku Klux Klan were pervasive, McNair’s mother emphasized education as a path to overcome adversity. McNair’s talent, friends, and mentors conspired to boost him from humble beginnings toward the stars, creating a legacy that continues to inspire us today.

Proun designed an internally lit graphic rail to chronicle McNairs’ life and legacy in the lobby of the Kavli Institute at MIT. Two digital display kiosks will flank the timeline, providing more in-depth interpretation.

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