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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July 14, 2009 Countdown to the Moon, Thursday, July 16 Story | At the Museum

Regular summer visitors to the National Air and Space Museum are familiar with the Museum’s popular event, Mars Day. This year, Mars is taking a backseat to allow us to honor the 40th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing with Countdown to the Moon Day.

 
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July 13, 2009 My Three Days on the Moon Story

What will the astronauts who return to the Moon with NASA’s Constellation program drive? I had a chance to find out last October as a member of NASA's Desert Research and Technology Studies (Desert RATS) during the field test of the Lunar Electric Rover (LER) at Black Point lava flow in Arizona.

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July 09, 2009 Dome In A Day: Progress on the Public Observatory Project Story

The Public Observatory Project (POP) is nearer to completion.  We are in the process of installing a large professional Boller & Chivens telescope in a 22-foot dome that will be available for four hours each day (weather permitting) to view the Sun, Moon and planets from the east terrace of the Museum.

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June 30, 2009 X-Ray Analysis of the Starship Enterprise Story | Conserving "Enterprise"

When the National Air and Space Museum opened in 1976, the production model of the Starship Enterprise was prominently and dramatically displayed hanging at the entrance of “Life in the Universe” gallery. Later, when that gallery closed, and the starship was moved to several other locations within the museum.

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June 26, 2009 Insect Power Story

When a colleague of ours, the curator of the model airplane collection, Tom Dietz, passed away recently, I was reminded of the time I spoke with him about two of the Museum’s model airplanes that I find most intriguing.

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June 24, 2009 The Donor Making The Difference: The Eagle Is Being Restored Story | At the Museum

“I do not recall anyone else near my age giving tours or being turned loose to meet and greet the general public, ” he recalls, “ but it was a joy for me to share my enthusiasm with citizens from across the world, and turn their casual museum visits into a thrilling learning experience.”

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June 24, 2009 What We're Working on in the Restoration Shop (Part 2) Story

In addition to the high-priority Barron Hilton Pioneers of Flight aircraft being refurbished at the Garber Facility, we have a number of other projects progressing at a slower pace.

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June 23, 2009 Don't Know What a Slide Rule is For Story

Of course the designers also used digital computers, but in the 1960s computers were giant machines that you programmed with punched cards, and they were strictly reserved for only the most complex mathematical calculations. As the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission approaches, we are constantly reminded of how incredible that voyage was.

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June 19, 2009 What the Well-Dressed Pilot Wore in 1941 Story | From the Archives

Looking elegant but a bit bulky, Lieutenant Gilbert L. Meyers of the 35th Pursuit Squadron models his government issued flying ensemble: an A-8 oxygen mask, B-6 goggles, B-3 winter jacket, A-3 trousers, B-5 helmet, A-9 gloves, A-6 shoes, and S-1 harness. 

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June 19, 2009 Friends Forever Story

On June 23, 1948, the Soviet Union blockaded ground access to West Berlin, at that time occupied by the United States, Great Britain, and France. All road, rail, and barge traffic was shut down. President Harry S. Truman and Gen. Lucius D. Clay, the American Military Governor of Germany, resolved to keep the city supplied by air. The resulting “Operation Vittles” – also known as the Berlin Airlift – was a massive combined effort of all the U.S. armed services and the Western powers.

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