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October 25, 2021
Space Tourism: Then and Now
Although space itself remained inaccessible to private citizens until the 21st century, other places where Earth and space meet—such as NASA centers—have long been popular destinations for a different kind of space tourist. Read about how people have been incorporating space activities as part of their leisure time since the dawn of the Space Age.
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Spectators gathered by a body of water and watching a rocket launching to the sky leaving behind a glowing streak as it enters the clouds.
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October 19, 2021
Six Months of Ingenuity
The first six months of testing the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter has surpassed expectations to say the least. Ginny has shown us that flight on the Red Planet is not only possible, but it may even be considered in future planetary endeavors. Explore six things we learned from the tiny Mars flyer in the first six months.
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Close-up image of the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter on the surface of Mars.
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October 14, 2021
Early Mexican Aviators at the Moisant Aviation School
On September 25, 1912, Alberto Salinas Carranza and Gustavo Salinas Camiña received their pilot licenses from the Aero Club of America. The Salinas cousins were the first of a group of five Mexican pilots sent by their government to the United States to study at the Moisant Aviation School at Hempstead, Long Island. The photographs and correspondence found in the collection of Shakir S. Jerwan, their “profesor,” provide a unique glimpse into the early history of Mexican aviation.
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Five men stand in front of a monoplane with a two blade propeller. Background: a hanger made of corrugated metal and to the left of center is the number 3 inside a circle.  From left to right: first man in a suit jacket facing slightly to the right with a backwards cap. second man is wearing a backwards cap and does not wear a jacket and has his left hand in his pocket. The third man is on the other side of the propeller is wearing a cap and unbuttoned jacket.  The fifth man stands with his hands behind him
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October 14, 2021
AirSpace Season 5, Ep. 3: Reflektor
Mirror, mirror under the football field, what secrets of the universe will you yield?  Okay, so we’re terrible poets (except maybe Matt). But we are feeling a bit reflective these days, so we’re taking this opportunity to ponder reflecting telescopes of all sizes, shapes, and types. Reflectors use mirrors to gather light and produce an image. Some are meant for space (we’re looking at you Hubble and JWST), and others are used here on Earth. In this episode, we’re taking you into two labs – one under the football stadium at the University of Arizona that makes some of the biggest telescope mirrors in the world, and another under the house (okay, it’s a basement) of someone who makes their own telescope mirrors at home. Same deal, way different scale. We promise this one isn’t a grind!
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October 10, 2021
Creativity in the Space Age: Raquel Forner’s Vision of Interconnection
Artist Raquel Forner became one of the earliest artists to depict outer space in paintings and continued to create images of space almost exclusively throughout her life. Forner’s humanistic vision in expressed her work which was a crucial note of optimism during the uncertain period of Cold War politics. Explore Forner's vision of space through her unique paintings.
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A painting depicting four human figures merged into one.
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September 29, 2021
Before Hubble, There Was Operation Stargazer
The first high-altitude piloted balloon observation missions were launched in the late-1950s as part of the U.S. Navy’s Strato-Lab program. Between 1958 and 1959, the U.S. Navy launched four separate missions for numerous celestial observations high up in the atmosphere. Before projects like the Hubble Space Telescope was even a concept, images which were once thought to be impossible to capture were taken via telescopes carried by balloons, such as those of Operation Stargazer.
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Operation Stargazer gondola on display at a museum.
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September 26, 2021
The Great Observatories: Directing the Future of Astronomical Research
The Hubble Space Telescope and its breathtaking views of the universe exist in part because of a practice called the Decadal Survey on Astronomy and Astrophysics. The astronomy community anxiously awaits next Decadal Survey update the to see the latest recommendations from a 50-plus year process that has led to some of the most groundbreaking and iconic projects in modern astronomical history. Learn how will it direct the future of astronomical research.
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Concept art of the James Webb Space Telescope against the backdrop of space.
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September 23, 2021
AirSpace Season 5, Ep. 2: Leaving for Paris
100 years ago Bessie Coleman became the first African American woman to earn her pilot's license. In part because she was a woman, and especially a woman of color, Bessie had to travel all the way to Europe to get her flight training. Today on AirSpace, we're looking back on Bessie's experiences in France and Germany in the 1920s and exploring just how far she went to earn her historic license (and inspire generations of pilots along the way).
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September 14, 2021
Mercury’s Mantle Goes with the Flow
Mercury is a one-plate planet, and as the smallest of the terrestrial planets of our solar system, it has a lot to teach us about how small rocky planets evolve. Read about a perspective of Mercury has that been determined from images and data returned by spacecrafts Mariner 10 and MESSENGER.
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Black and white impact crater Hokusai on planet Mercury.
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September 10, 2021
Reflecting on September 11th, 20 Years Later
Museum acting director Chris Browne was Airport Manager of DC's Reagan National Airport on September 11, 2001. He reflects on the tragedy, 20 years later.
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Group of first responders stand on top of building with American flag hanging off it