Showing 1 - 10 of 142

Story Short Stories from Newly Digitized Women’s Archival Collections Posted on Mar 14, 2023

The Museum's Archives holds large digitized collections highlighting the contributions of high-profile women, ranging from aviators Louise McPhetridge Thaden and the Ninety-Nines to astronauts Sally K. Ride and Kathryn D. Sullivan.  There are also smaller collections, some containing just one to two documents, representing women whose experiences are just as important to telling the full story of women in aviation and space flight.

Topics: Aviation Space Women World War II
Story Dreaming Big with Gerard K. O’Neill Posted on Dec 29, 2022

While not a household name, Gerard K. O’Neill contributed greatly to furthering the ideas of space flight for the post-Apollo era of the 1970s. Explore his work and futuristic visions.

Topics: Space People Science fiction
Story Kathryn D. Sullivan: From Outer Space to Under the Sea Posted on Sep 17, 2022

Beyond Kathryn D. Sullivan's years as an astronaut, she ventured into many other fields of work and study. Sullivan is a trained scientist with a Ph.D. in geology, who has conducted extensive oceanographic research on the floors of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. She has also served in the U.S. Naval Reserve (USNR) and as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Administrator.

Topics: Space Human spaceflight People Women
Story “I am without identity”: Restoring the Names of Pioneering Women Aeronauts Posted on Mar 11, 2022

While our Museum archivists were in the process of updating the NASM Technical Reference Files, they noticed that some women were missing names, often identified by their husband's names. This blog explores how the full names of these women were restored, and re-visits their lives and careers.

Topics: Behind the scenes Women
Story The Daily Life of the Tuskegee Airmen: The Lieutenant Rayner Collection Posted on Feb 22, 2022

Donated by Ahmed A. “Sammy” Rayner, Jr,  these images, paired with his remembrances of his time as a Tuskegee Airman, provide vivid examples of the daily lives of the 477th Bombardment Group and experiences as a Black officer.

Topics: People African American or Black people War and Conflict World War II
Story The “Age 60 Rule”: Michael Gitt’s 1968 Case Against the FAA Posted on Jan 10, 2022

In late 1959, the FAA released its “Age 60 Rule,” which essentially required mandatory retirement for airline pilots over age 60. As his 60th birthday rapidly approached, Captain Michael Gitt appealed with an age discrimination lawsuit against Eastern Airlines to help him overturn the age disqualification. Read about his attempt to leverage the new Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA).

Topics: Aviation Commercial aviation People Society and Culture
Story Training for the Shuttle: From the Personal Papers of Sally Ride and David Brown Posted on Dec 01, 2021

In the era of the Space Shuttle from the 1980s to the early 2010s, NASA astronauts would receive numerous information booklets and other written materials which would explain to them how to operate the Space Shuttle. The Museum's Archives holds two rich collections related to this intense technical training in the personal papers of Sally K. Ride and David M. Brown.

Topics: Space Human spaceflight Space Shuttle program Women People
Story Early Mexican Aviators at the Moisant Aviation School Posted on Oct 14, 2021

On September 25, 1912, Alberto Salinas Carranza and Gustavo Salinas Camiña received their pilot licenses from the Aero Club of America. The Salinas cousins were the first of a group of five Mexican pilots sent by their government to the United States to study at the Moisant Aviation School at Hempstead, Long Island. The photographs and correspondence found in the collection of Shakir S. Jerwan, their “profesor,” provide a unique glimpse into the early history of Mexican aviation.

Topics: Aviation Early flight People Latino people War and Conflict
Story Arthur C. Clarke and the Smithsonian Institution Posted on Aug 17, 2021

Before his death in 2008, famed science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke had contact with the Smithsonian Institution, both directly and indirectly, throughout the years. This blog explores the correspondence between Clarke and members of the Smithsonian found in his personal papers held by the National Air and Space Museum Archives.

Topics: Behind the scenes People Society and Culture Science fiction
Story The Year Ballooning Was an Olympic Event Posted on Jul 28, 2021

The 1900 Olympic Games, held in Paris as part of the Exposition Universelle (World’s Fair), was the only year in which ballooning was an official event.

Topics: Aviation Airships Balloons Early flight Sports aviation