The Messerschmitt 262 was the first operational jet fighter introduced by Nazi Germany during World War II. It was more than 100 miles per hour faster than any other Allied fighter aircraft. Despite this, the Messerschmitt 262 faced problems. There were not enough resources to build the aaircraft and competition with other manufacturers was steep.
Nazi Germany turned to forced labor to build the Messerschmitt 262. An example of this was at the Gusen II concentration camp, where prisoners built the fuselages for the aircraft. Gusen II was known as the “Hell of Hell,” and records estimate that 8,000 to 20,000 people died there.
Although 1,443 aircraft were completed, it is estimated that only about 300 saw combat. The Messerschmitt 262 was introduced too late in the war to compete against the Allies.
Before humans flew into space, dogs, chimpanzees, and flight-test dummies led the way. Ivan Ivanovich, who flew in the Soviet Korabl-Sputnik program in the early 1960s, was one such dummy. In a heady atmosphere of Cold War tension, Soviet secrecy, and uncertainty about the dawning space age, garbled retellings of Ivan's extraordinary story helped foster one of the most tenacious Space Age conspiracy theories: The Lost Cosmonaut Theory.
Wiley Post set a number of records in the Winnie Mae, a Lockheed Vega. He and his navigator flew around the world in eight days. Then, he took the same trip by himself and took seven days. Post also worked with BFGoodrich to develop the world’s first pressure suit in order to fly above 50,000 feet and set more records.
The Cassini spacecraft has spent almost 13 years exploring the beautiful giant planet Saturn and its amazingly diverse moons. Cassini’s mission will end in September when it plunges into Saturn’s atmosphere, but it will leave behind a wealth of knowledge and wonder.
Dr. Tom Barclay is a senior research scientist at NASA Ames Research Center. He spends his days studying stars and planets and how they formed. But before he became a scientist, he had all kinds of jobs from cleaning toilets to washing pots. He’s got some great advice about finding your own path.
Howard Hawks directed a film in 1930 whose influence can be seen in virtually every military aviation movie made since it premiered. The Dawn Patrol, with its dramatic aerial combat scenes and heroic and tragic pilot figures, is the father of all military aviation films. We will be screening The Dawn Patrol and providing commentary on March 17 as part of our Hollywood Goes to War: World War I on the Big Screen, film series.
“A rocket engine is a controlled explosion. So there’s this tension between pushing the technological state of the art and also maintaining safety and reliability," Curator Tom Lassman
The F-1 engine remains the highest thrust rocket engine that NASA has ever flown (1.5 million pounds of thrust). The liquid-fueled engine was used during the Apollo program and sat at the bottom of the Saturn V. The engines were designed to be disposable. After reaching a certain altitude, the engines would shut down and fall back into the ocean.
When the Saturn V was taken out of service, NASA shifted from disposable rocketry to reusable rocketry. In recent years, NASA has revisited the F-1 to help inform the next generation of launch vehicles like the Space Launch System (SLS).
From January 2015 to 2017, Dava Newman served as NASA’s deputy administrator. Newman helped lead the organization forward and provided direction on policy and planning. How does someone attain such an important role?
Today, like many of you, we’re celebrating International Women’s Day. Women around the world have meaningfully contributed to the aerospace industry, from groundbreaking research to daring flights. Here are just a few of those inspiring women.