Research

Staff and fellows at the National Air and Space Museum conduct original research in three major areas.

Aeronautics
Curators and fellows in our Aeronautics Department are responsible for historical research related to all aspects of flight in the atmosphere. Their goal is to preserve, document, and interpret the history of aeronautical technology within a broad and appropriate political, economic, and social context. As part of this responsibility, the division acquires, documents, and maintains a collection of historically significant artifacts for public exhibition, study, and reference, and produces both academic and consumer publications.

Earth and Planetary Science
The Center for Earth and Planetary Studies (CEPS) is the scientific research unit at the Museum. Most of the research in CEPS focuses on geologic processes that have shaped the surfaces of rocky bodies in the solar system, including the Earth. Staff from our Center for Earth and Planetary Studies are actively involved of most of NASA’s current planetary missions.

Space History
Scholars in the Space History Department research and write on space exploration and other historically significant space-related developments and achievements. Staff members conduct historical research leading toward scholarly and popular publications, exhibitions, lectures, seminars, and other forms of public presentation.