Earth Day will be celebrated on April 22. An annual event begun in 1970, it is, in the words of anthropologist Margaret Mead, “devoted to the preservation of the harmony in nature.” Before and since that first occasion, spaceflight and the environmental movement have been deeply entwined, shaping how we think about Earth as home as well as our responsibilities to sustain that home.
Hell’s Angels, along with Wings and The Dawn Patrol, is considered one of the three great early aviation films that defined the genre. The movie featured authentic aerial combat scenes, innovative camera work, and incredible miniature effects. Upwards of 50 aircraft, nearly half actual World War I airplanes, were assembled for the production, and some 75 pilots were employed to fly the aerial sequences and pilot the camera planes.
Of the four known giant planets in our solar system, Jupiter is by far the largest. It is wider than 11 Earths side by side and has more mass than all the other seven planets combined. It is made up mostly of hydrogen and helium and has strong winds and storms.
After Germany invaded Belgium in August 1914, a British blockade to prevent supplies reaching Germany also isolated the Belgian people. The Commission for Belgian Relief (CRB), chaired by future U.S. president Herbert Hoover, negotiated delivery of food and goods to civilians living there. Among the items was thread to Belgian lace makers. The CRB managed sales and deliveries of Belgian war lace to people in the Allied countries wishing to support the Belgian population.
With male family members at the battlefront, wounded, or killed, French peasant women used their needlework skills to maintain their livelihoods and rebuild their war-torn communities. Thousands of American women volunteers in France, especially those associated with the American Committee for a Devastated France, sponsored them.
On April 7, 2017, New Horizons entered a 157-day-long hibernation. New Horizons is an interplanetary space probe and is NASA’s first mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt. After operating steadily for almost two and a half years, the spacecraft and its systems deserve this much-needed break.
War souvenirs are as old as warfare itself. Be they trophies of victory or personal keepsakes of combat experiences, soldiers have always saved material evidence of their wartime service. Some, if they had the skills, turned the materials of war into art.
The signature aspect of the First World War in Europe was the protracted stalemate of trench warfare. After a brief period of mobility over the battlefield in the first months of the conflict, the opposing armies settled into a long and deadly war of attrition.
Before coming to work at the National Air and Space Museum, I taught for 15 years at Liberty Public Schools near Kansas City, Missouri. When I was teaching, I would write to anyone I thought I could get a response from, including celebrities, asking them for advice for students. My favorite responses were always from astronauts.
In the late 1950s, the U.S. Naval School of Aviation Medicine and the newly formed National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) recruited deaf people for weightlessness, balance, and motion sickness experiments.