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Mon, August 22 2016

Apollo Gems in the Archives

One of the joys of working with an archive is unearthing the unexpected. When an avowed space nerd like me gets the opportunity to spend time in archives as impressive as the Smithsonian, my journey down research road was a bit circuitous. More often than not, I was lured away from my original focus by fascinating finds. Here are a few of my favorites.

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Apollo 11 Moon Pin
Fri, August 19 2016

Orville Wright Born Today in 1871

Today in 1871, aviator and inventor Orville Wright was born to Milton and Susan Catherine Koerner Wright. Orville was the sixth of seven children born to the Wrights.

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Orville Wright
Wed, August 17 2016

Revealing the Colors of the Star Trek Enterprise

Want to know what colors are on the 3-meter (11-foot) Star Trek starship Enterprise studio model? Read more to find the colorimeter readings for the colors we uncovered during our sanding tests and other conservation work on the model.

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Revealing the Colors of the Star Trek Enterprise
Tue, August 16 2016

Food & Flight: Harrison Schmitt’s Chili

Harrison “Jack” Schmitt was the first and last geologist to visit the Moon. Below is his secret chili recipe, served best with a side of tortilla chips and some space history. We can’t help with the chips, but we can tell you a little about this chili-making astronaut.

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Man on the Moon
Sat, August 13 2016

Aug. 13, 1911: Second U.S. Woman to Earn Pilot’s License

On August 13, 1911, Matilde Moisant became the second woman in the United States to receive her pilot’s license, just a few weeks after her friend Harriet Quimby.

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Matilde Moisant in Airplane
Sat, August 13 2016

Six Stories from Developing the Lunar Module

Many are familiar with images of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin standing beside the Lunar Module (LM) Eagle during the historic Apollo 11 Moon landing. The story of how the LM was developed and tested is a little less familiar. Here are six highlights from a recent talk. 

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Testing the Lunar Module Signed Photograph
Fri, August 12 2016

The Perseids Light Up the Sky

The annual Perseid meteor shower is at its peak (August 11-13). Meteor showers occur when the Earth’s orbit around the Sun takes us through a debris field, which is often a trail of cosmic dust left behind by a comet.

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Perseid Meteor Shower
Thu, August 11 2016

August 11, 1978: Crossing the Atlantic in a Balloon

On this day in 1978, Ben Abruzzo, Maxie Anderson, and Larry Newman took off from Presque Isle, Maine in the gas balloon Double Eagle II in an attempt to cross the Atlantic. The successful crossing took 137 hours, 6 minutes and covered 5,021 kilometers (3,120 miles) landing in a wheat field near Miserey, France.

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Double Eagle II Over Farmland during its Transatlantic Flight
Mon, August 8 2016

On This Day: Wilbur Wright Flies in Europe

On this day in 1908, Wilbur Wright publicly demonstrated a Wright aircraft for the first time in Europe at the Hunaudières racecourse at Le Mans, southwest of Paris.

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1908 Wright Flyer at Le Mans
Sun, August 7 2016

Jimmy Doolittle: Daredevil Pilot & Fun-Loving Friend

On National Friendship Day, we take time to remember the friends that stand with us through good times and bad. World War II hero James “Jimmy” Doolittle was fun-loving and fearless as a teenager, making himself quite a few friends along the way. Looking back on his friendship with Doolittle, opera singer Lawrence Tibbett recalled some of the ups and downs they shared.

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Jimmy Doolittle

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