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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
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September 09, 2021
AirSpace Season 5, Ep. 1 Moonshine
Raise a glass and cheers to a new season of AirSpace! And to help us get in the celebratory mood, today's episode is about a truly intoxicating period of American history – prohibition. You might know [we didn’t] that NASCAR has its roots in bootleggers driving illicit hooch in the 1920s. But it turns out, not all bootleggers were driving their contraband around in cars. Today on AirSpace, learn how prohibition and passenger airlines went hand-in-hand.
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September 07, 2021
Fabricating Missing Parts from the Heinkel 219
Explore the innovative metalworking techniques developed by the Museum’s restoration specialists to fabricate the mast elbows from the radar array of the World War II night fighter.
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Heinkel 219 aircraft fuselage on display in a museum.
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August 28, 2021
Captain Dale “Snort” Snodgrass, 1949-2021
"Thirty-six years flying fighters!” The Museum reflects on the life of one of the most highly regarded military pilots who passed away on July 24, 2021.
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Medium-shot portrait of Captain Dale “Snort” Snodgrass
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August 26, 2021
AirSpace Revisited: Troop Zero
We’re just two weeks away from a brand new season of AirSpace!  Today, though, we’re revisiting a favorite from May 2020 – the first installment of the AirSpace Movie Club. Join us on this trip down memory lane and listen to Emily, Matt, and Nick break down the Voyager-referencing, Bowie-fueled, and endlessly endearing Troop Zero. And don’t miss new episodes of AirSpace beginning September 9th!
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August 17, 2021
Arthur C. Clarke and the Smithsonian Institution
Before his death in 2008, famed science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke had contact with the Smithsonian Institution, both directly and indirectly, throughout the years. This blog explores the correspondence between Clarke and members of the Smithsonian found in his personal papers held by the National Air and Space Museum Archives.
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Air Letter address side: red, white and blue diagonal striped pattern around border, Smithsonian letter head in upper left-hand corner, postmark in upper middle, 10 cent stamp featuring red and white and blue airplane. Address in center of page
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August 12, 2021
AirSpace Bonus: Say My Name Again
We’re hard at work on Season 5 (launching this September!) but before then, we’re giving you a second bite at a topic we spent a long time thinking about this year: what’s in a name? Earlier this season we explored how planetary bodies and their geological features get named. We also recorded an explainer on how NASA names their spacecraft, but we just didn’t have time for it in the original episode. So, what do Snoopy, Spider, and Gumdrop have in common? Find out in this bonus episode!
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August 11, 2021
Using Historic Tools in the Construction and Restoration of a Standard J-1
A brief treatise on the historic tools used in the construction and restoration of the National Air and Space Museum’s Standard J-1 aircraft.
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Lincoln-Standard H.S. (Modified Standard J-1) airplane on tarmac viewed from a side angle.
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July 30, 2021
Apollo 15 and the Lunar Roving Vehicle: An Interview with Earl Swift
Earl Swift sought out the full story of the LRV’s origins, development, and traverses  in his new book “Across the Airless Wilds.” In this interview, he tells us he believes the LRV changed everything about the Apollo program.
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The Apollo 15 lunar roving vehicle (LRV) covered over 17 miles while traveling on the surface of the Moon.