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Fri, January 8 2021

George Robert Carruthers: Astronautical Engineer and Astronomer

Astronautical engineer and astronomer George Robert Carruthers, a name well-known and dearly regarded in the space science community, and a good friend of the National Air and Space Museum, passed away on Saturday, December 26 after a long illness.

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Carruthers - Film Cassettes
Wed, December 30 2020

Wonder Woman and the Smithsonian

Explore the history of Wonder Woman and the Smithsonian, including how Wonder Woman 1984 was filmed at three Smithsonian museums.

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Chris Pine in Wonder Woman 1984
Thu, December 17 2020

70 Years Ago: F-86s and MiGs over Korea

On December 17, 1950, the first known aerial combat between swept-wing jet fighters took place in the skies over Korea. The Russian-built Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 had been recently introduced and its speed and maneuverability caused trouble for the United States and in response, the North American F-86 Sabre was rushed to Korea. Ward Hitt, Jr., a member of the 4th Fighter Interceptor Group, chronicled the early days of the F-86 in combat in a detailed scrapbook.

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Ward Hitt, Jr. in his F-86A Sabre Cockpit

Study Reveals That Mercury Is the Not-So-Shrunken Planet

New Paper Is Published by Smithsonian Scientist Tom Watters Findings from a recently published paper by Smithsonian senior scientist Thomas R. Watters reveal that Mercury has managed to retain much more of its interior heat than previously thought...

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Study Reveals That Mercury Is the Not-So-Shrunken Planet

Composite of two flyby views of Mercury
Wed, December 16 2020

Revisiting the Soviet Lunar Sample Return Missions

China’s Chang’e 5 lunar sample return mission successfully brought back pristine Moon samples to Earth. The last time such a feat was accomplished was during the Soviet Union’s Luna 24 mission in 1976. A total of three robotic sample return missions, as part of the Cold War Moon Race with the United States, were successfully executed.

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Luna 16
Tue, December 15 2020

Bee Falk’s 100th Birthday

December 15, 2020 marks the 100th birthday of aviation ‘sheroes’, Bernice “Bee” Falk Haydu, a WWII Women Airforce Service Pilot (WASP), entrepreneurial aviator, and lifelong advocate for women military pilots. Happy birthday, Bee!

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Portrait of Bernice “Bee” Falk Haydu
Mon, December 14 2020

The Great Conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter

This month, gas giants Jupiter and Saturn are coming together in the sky for a once-in-a-lifetime event called a great conjunction. It will peak on December 21, 2020.

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Jupiter and Saturn
Sat, December 12 2020

Failure to Launch: The Heart-Stopping Pad Shutdown of Gemini VI-A

Moments after ignition on December 12, 1965, one of Gemini VI's engine suddenly shut down. Astronauts Wally Schirra and Thomas Stafford waited tensely in the cockpit for a plan to get them out of the life threatening situation. What happened over the next three days is nothing short of remarkable.

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Wally Schirra and Thomas Stafford
Tue, December 8 2020

Remembering Chuck Yeager, a Pilot with the Right Stuff

The greatest pilot of the Greatest Generation has passed. Seventy-nine years to the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor, famed test pilot, World War II ace, and the first person to fly faster than the speed of sound, Brig. Gen. Charles “Chuck” Yeager, died at the age of 97.

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Charles "Chuck" Yeager with Bell X-1
Mon, December 7 2020

A Blue Angel Makes Its Final Flight Into The National Collection

On November 18, 2020, Cmdr. Frank “Walleye” Weisser, USN, a member of the Navy’s Blue Angels flight demonstration team, flew into Dulles International Airport to deliver a McDonnell Douglas F/A-18C Hornet to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.

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The F/A-18C Hornet