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. 

Showing 1 - 10 of 1662

May 24, 2024 Ellison Shoji Onizuka: The First Asian American in Space Story

When NASA astronaut Ellison Onizuka rode Space Shuttle Discovery into space on shuttle mission STS-51-C in 1985, he made history on several counts. He was the first Asian American astronaut, the first astronaut of Japanese descent, the first person from Hawai‘i in space, and the first Buddhist in space. His second space flight occurred just a year later in 1986 when Space Shuttle Challenger launched on STS-51L.

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May 22, 2024 AirSpace Season 9, Episode 2: Tiny Jumper Story | AirSpace Podcast

Georgia "Tiny" Broadwick was 15 years old when she first jumped out of a hot air balloon with a parachute in 1908. Over the next 14 years she would make over 1,000 jumps, first out of balloons and then as the first woman to jump from an airplane.

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May 20, 2024 Can Grass and Trees Grow on Mars? Story

Many books have been written and movies made about the possibility of humans colonizing Mars. Some include descriptions of growing food in habitats or even changing the Martian climate via “terraforming” to enable large scale agriculture. But how realistic is it to think that Earth plants could grow unprotected on Mars today?

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May 07, 2024 AirSpace Season 9, Episode 1: The Suicide Squad Story | AirSpace Podcast

In the 1930s, rocketry was basically a joke among the scientific establishment in the US, but that didn't stop a rag tag group out of Pasadena from trying to build rockets. 

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April 23, 2024 Gene Nora Jessen: Much More than the Woman in Space Program Story

It’s 1961. You’re a 24-year-old pilot. You’re also one of 13 women selected to undergo the rigorous testing that the Mercury 7 astronauts went through. You and all your peers pass, greatly defying everyone’s expectations. Most people would dine out on this story for the rest of their lives. Gene Nora Jessen, however, isn’t “most people.”

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April 16, 2024 Celebrating Jerrie Mock, the First Solo World Flight by a Woman, and All Women Earth Rounders Story

Geraldine “Jerrie” Mock touched down in her Cessna 180 at Port Columbus Airport in Ohio, on April 17, 1964, completing the first round-the-world solo flight by a woman. Having departed on March 19, she accomplished her 23,103 mile (37,180 kilometer) journey in 29 days, 11 hours, and 59 minutes.

 

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April 15, 2024 An Advocate for Art: James “Jim” Daniel Dean Story

Jim Dean's contributions to the Museum’s art collection and NASA are invaluable. Dean left an indelible mark in the fields of art and science as our Museum’s first art curator from 1974 to 1980 and as director of the NASA Art Program from the early 1960s to 1974.

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April 05, 2024 An Unparalleled Vantage Point: The USS Los Angeles and the 1925 Solar Eclipse Story

On January 25, 1925, J.H. Klein Jr., the commander of the airship USS Los Angeles, described an incredible sight he had witnessed to the Boston Globe.  He described his experience and stated it was, "A most spectacular sight. The sky at the horizon was a flood of merging orange and red light. Overhead the ceiling was blue-black, while all about was the darkness of twilight.” This incredible event occurred during the 1925 solar eclipse off the coast of New York City, and scientists and crew aboard the USS Los Angeles had a front row seat to the beauty and splendor of the occurrence.

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April 04, 2024 Lt. Gen. Thomas P. Stafford Story

Born in Weatherford, Oklahoma, to a dentist and a former schoolteacher on September 17, 1930, Lt. Gen. Thomas Stafford (USAF) grew up under the first transcontinental airline route. As a child, he would watch silver DC-3s streak across the sky and think “I want to do that.”

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March 29, 2024 Pick A Card: Interpreting the 1929 Women’s Air Derby with Trading Cards Story

The Museum’s Explainers—a cohort of high school and college student interpreters—are working together to create an original set of “trading cards” featuring images of the 1929 Women’s Air Derby contestants and details about their participation. The Explainers hope to inspire genuine, lasting personal connections with the rich, but often unsung, history of women’s active participation in aviation and space.

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