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March 22, 2021
Tingmissartoq! Charles and Anne Lindbergh Tour Greenland
Greenland, an autonomous territory of Denmark, hosted the Lindberghs for three weeks in the summer of 1933 and one of their stops was the southern town of Julianehaab, now known as Qaqortoq.
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Arctic explorer Knud Rasmussen (left) meets Anne and Charles Lindbergh
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March 16, 2021
Homing in on Pigeons’ Contributions to World War II
Amid all these aircraft maintenance manuals, engine overhaul manuals, and parts catalogs in the Museum, there exists a U.S. Army Air Forces (AAF) manual that details the use of homing pigeons in combat zones during World War II.
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The cover of a manual entitled "Handling and Releasing Homing Pigeons from Aircraft"
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March 16, 2021
Spinning Out of Control: Gemini VIII’s Near-Disaster
On March 16, 1966, the Gemini VIII astronauts made the world’s first space docking, quickly followed by the first life-threatening, in-flight emergency in the short history of the U.S. human spaceflight program.
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Three white men lean over the railing of a ship.
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March 11, 2021
AirSpace Season 4, Ep. 3: Water Me
It seems like every time there’s big news from outer space, it’s that we found water some place—as traces of ice or wisps of vapor, embedded in rocks or bound up in dry-as-dirt-regolith. Today, Matt, Nick, and Emily explore how we search for wet spots in the solar system, what they can tell us about our home planet, and why they’re the key to making our way in the universe.
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AirSpace, a podcast, logo
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February 27, 2021
The Dream of Abyssinia: Two Black Aviators and Ethiopia
In 1896, Ethiopians had turned back an Italian invasion at Adwa (Adowa), serving as an example of a Black-led country’s defiance of Europe. Taking inspiration from Ethiopia’s long history as an independent Black nation, two Black aviators—Hubert Julian and John C. Robinson—were drawn to Ethiopia by the events of 1935.
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Black and white left side view of monoplane painted black with white stripe down middle. Cursive handwritten text in center of plane reads: "Abyssinia Emperor Haile Salassi I King of Kings." Tail text "782W/Bellanca" Black man by nose right hand in pocket
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February 26, 2021
The Science of Frederick Eversley’s Art
In 1977, Fred Eversley was invited to work as the first artist in residence in the newly-opened National Air and Space Museum. His art is often grouped with the “Light and Space” artworks made in California during the 1960s–1970s, a movement associated with the minimalist and abstract qualities of art informed by the aerospace technologies and industries on the west coast.
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Spherical glass art in a gallery.
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February 25, 2021
Making Tracks on Mars - An Adventure Story
I’m an executive producer at Smithsonian Channel and I had the pleasure of making the documentary Making Tracks on Mars. We made our film feel like an adventure because most people think of Mars as a frontier, but at its core, the story taps into our primal drive to explore.
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A dusky colored landscape.
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February 25, 2021
AirSpace Season 4, Ep. 2: Nicotine Stain
It took decades of research, lobbying, and litigation to prove the dangers of secondhand smoke, and a lot of that work happened at cruising altitude. In this episode, we’ll hear how flight attendants were instrumental in the fight to get smoking OUT of the skies, and how the lawsuit they brought against the tobacco companies had huge ripple effects in the smoke-free public places we enjoy today.
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AirSpace, a podcast, logo
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February 17, 2021
Driving Mars Exploration: How the Perseverance Rover Will Pave a Path into the Future
It’s been nearly 60 years since the first spacecraft were sent to Mars, and it’s inspiring to reflect on the progress that has been made since then. If all goes according to plan, the landing of the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover will mark the start of NASA’s ninth surface mission on the Red Planet.
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An artists rendering, showing Ingenuity, a drone like small helicopter, flying ahead of the Perseverance Rover. Here you can see five of Perseverance's wheels and its "body" with a head-like camera emerging from the middle.
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February 16, 2021
Is There Life on Mars?
To get the answer, we have to know what to look for and where to go on the planet for evidence of past life. With the Perseverance rover set to land on Mars on February 18, we are finally in a position to know.
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Perseverance samples rocks with its attatched drill.