Air and Space Photos

Wed, September 23 2020

A Mars Rover Lands in Virginia

A new Mars rover has landed at the Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia. The Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Surface System Test-Bed (SSTB) is nearly identical to the MER twin rovers Spirit and Opportunity that landed on Mars in 2004. What makes the SSTB different, however, is that it was designed for use on Earth.

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The Mars Exploration Rover (MER)
Tue, December 3 2019

Touching a Piece of the Moon

In the over 40 years our lunar touchrock has been on display, millions of people have walked through our doors and touched a piece of the Moon. Intrigued by this idea, staff photographer Jim Preston took over 60 photos of visitors touching our little piece of the Moon.

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Touchable Moon Rock
Mon, September 30 2019

The Power of Black and White Photography: Learning to See in Shades of Grey

A museum staff photographer reflects on photographing in black and white and learning to see in shades of grey.

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247-D Propeller
Wed, September 25 2019

The Big Three

This summer, visitors had a unique opportunity to see the transformation of American commercial aviation on the floor of the Mary Engen Restoration Hangar: the Ford 5-AT Tri-Motor, the Boeing 247-D, and the Douglas DC-3

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Big Three in Restoration Hangar
Fri, September 6 2019

The Many Lives of Buster the Air Racer

Since the earliest days of flight, air racing has been an exciting motorsports activity. We have in our collection many of the aircraft that made history by winning races and setting records, like Steve Wittman’s Special 20 Buster, which lived two lives in air racing and proved to be an inspiration for an entire class of air racers.

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The Many Lives of Buster the Air Racer

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Wittman Special 20 "Buster"
Thu, July 4 2019

Star-Spangled Artifacts

In honor of Fourth of July, we explore artifacts in our collection with American flags.

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 Pitts S-1S Special
Mon, May 20 2019

A Year of Anniversaries for Record-Setter Bill Odom and the Beechcraft 35 Bonanza

2019 marks the 70th anniversary of two long-distance light plane records by William P. Odom. Those records were set in the Museum’s Beechcraft 35 Bonanza, which is displayed at our Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. In addition, it is also the 100th anniversary of William Paul Odom’s birth, on October 21, 1919, in Porum, Oklahoma.

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A Year of Anniversaries for Record-Setter Bill Odom and the Beechcraft 35 Bonanza

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March 1949 Flight Details on Beechcraft Bonanza
Fri, April 26 2019

A High-Flying Spy Plane

Until recently, a Lockheed U-2, one of the most successful intelligence-gathering aircraft every produced, was on display in the Museum's Looking at Earth gallery. The U-2 was designed by a team led by Clarence L. "Kelly" Johnson at the famous Lockheed 'Skunk Works" in Palmdale, California. The jet played a crucial role during the tense years of the Cold War.

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Lockheed U-2
Fri, April 5 2019

A Guiding Light: The Airway Beacon Tower

The first pioneering pilots flew the airways during the day without purpose-designed maps. This presented a problem for the U.S. Post Office: Without flying at night, airmail was slower than by railroad and the higher cost of air transport had no value.

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Airway Beacon And Tower
Mon, February 25 2019

Inside the Cockpit of Amelia Earhart's Vega

Introduced in 1927, the Vega was the first product of designer Jack Northrop and Allan Loughead's Lockheed Aircraft Company. Sturdy, roomy, streamlined and fast, the innovative Vega became favored by pilots seeking to set speed and distance records. 

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Amelia Earhart Lockheed Vega 5B Engine and Propeller

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