Stories of daring, stories of technological feats, stories of prevailing against the odds ... these are the stories we tell at the National Air and Space Museum. Dive in to the stories below to discover, learn, and be inspired. 

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September 21, 2010 Ballistic Missile Guidance on your Cell Phone? Story

If you don’t already own one, you’ve no doubt seen advertisements for them on television. I am referring to so-called “smartphones,” which can change the orientation of their display, from Portrait to Landscape, depending on how you hold them. They can do that because they contain a fingernail-sized chip inside, which senses the acceleration of gravity, and adjusts the display accordingly. Resourceful programmers have come up with a number of other applications, or “apps,” for these phones, which take advantage of the on-board ability to sense acceleration. If you only use a plain old-fashioned cell phone, you still have a number of these devices around you. Automobiles use them for airbag deployment, stability control, and braking systems.

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September 12, 2010 She Had a Dream: Mae C. Jemison, First African American Woman in Space Story

Have you ever had a dream of what you wanted to do in life? How about a wish that you hoped every day would come true?  Were you ever truly inspired by something or someone at an early age that shaped the course of your life? Living a lifelong dream does not come to many, but for Dr. Mae Jemison, space travel was always an area of fascination.

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August 27, 2010 Phase Two—The New Wing Story | From the Archives

Looking at the seemingly endless aisles of crates at the Paul E. Garber Restoration and Storage Facility, it is not a great stretch of the imagination to picture Indiana Jones scouring these narrow labyrinths for that anonymous wooden crate housing the notorious Ark.

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August 24, 2010 Quietly Soaring into History: First African American in Space Story

As August 30 approaches, a significant anniversary in American history may come along virtually unnoticed, just as it almost did twenty-seven years ago.

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August 19, 2010 The Legend of Amelia Earhart’s Disappearance Story | From the Archives

The mystery of Amelia Earhart’s disappearance somewhere over the Pacific Ocean in July 1937 during her around-the-world flight attempt persists to the present day, and is especially alive and well on the Internet.

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August 16, 2010 The Long, Lonely Leap Story

August 16, 1960 featured one of the most memorable aeronautical moments of my adolescence. I can still remember seeing the cover of Life magazine for August 29, 

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August 13, 2010 A ‘Spectacular’ Hoax Continues to Fool E-mail Readers Story

A claim that Mars will appear as large as the full moon to the naked eye has been circulating since 2003. Don't be fooled by the misinformation.

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August 10, 2010 What are Your Favorite Aerospace History Conspiracy Theories? Story

We have been discussing at the National Air and Space Museum the possibility of pursuing an educational workshop on the place of conspiracy theories in modern America, especially as it relates to aerospace history but also in the broader context of our national history.

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August 07, 2010 First Public Demonstration Of Solar-Powered Gossamer Penguin Story

On August 7, 1980, Janice Brown flew the Penguin almost 3.5 km (two miles) that day in 14 minutes, 21 seconds. This was the first sustained flight of a solar-powered aircraft and the longest Penguin flight since development had started on the aircraft two years earlier.

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July 29, 2010 Panoramic Preservation Story | From the Archives

The Archives Division at the National Air and Space Museum has lots of really neat items.  Most things come to us in good condition and need very little preservation before being made available to the public. 

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