Staff and fellows at the National Air and Space Museum conduct original research in three major areas.
Curators and fellows in our Aeronautics Department are responsible for historical research related to all aspects of flight in the atmosphere. Their goal is to preserve, document, and interpret the history of aeronautical technology within a broad and appropriate political, economic, and social context. As part of this responsibility, the division acquires, documents, and maintains a collection of historically significant artifacts for public exhibition, study, and reference, and produces both academic and consumer publications. See our team.
Earth and Planetary Science
The Center for Earth and Planetary Studies (CEPS) is the scientific research unit at the Museum. Most of the research in CEPS focuses on geologic processes that have shaped solid surfaces throughout the solar system, including the Earth. CEPS staff are actively involved in many of NASA’s current planetary missions. As a NASA Regional Planetary Image Facility (RPIF), CEPS houses an extensive collection of images of the planets and their satellites. CEPS also provides a data repository to the public for access to data from CEPS publications.
Scholars in the Space History Department research and write on space exploration and other historically significant space-related developments and achievements. Staff members conduct historical research leading toward scholarly and popular publications, exhibitions, lectures, seminars, and other forms of public presentation.