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Sun, July 3 2011

A New Curiosity

There is a strange looking car parked in the west end of the National Air and Space Museum in downtown Washington, DC. For now, it is only visible behind its security screen from the second floor landing above. From that vantage, the vehicle’s six wheels, robotic arm, mast, and other protrusions are clearly visible. But since this is the Air and Space Museum, it must be more than just a normal car. Soon the barriers will be gone and the public will be able to view the vehicle up close and personal. And what they will see is a model of the next Mars rover, NASA’s 2011 Mars Science Laboratory. The rover, dubbed “Curiosity” will be launched to Mars later this year and will begin its mission to explore whether places on the Red Planet were ever habitable.

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NASA Mars Rover Curiosity at JPL
Fri, July 1 2011

35 Years at the National Air and Space Museum

Dominick Pisano, Museum staff member since 1975, shares his memories of the move to the current Museum and the work that went into transporting the entire library. 

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Rocket Row on West Side of A&I Building; 1960s

Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum Turns 35 Friday

July 1, 1976, 35 years ago Friday, as a highlight of the American bicentennial, the National Air and Space Museum welcomed the first visitors to its new building on the National Mall in Washington. Home to such icons of flight as the 1903 Wright Flyer, the Spirit of St. Louis, Friendship 7 and...

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Opening of National Air and Space Museum on the National Mall in 1976
Fri, June 24 2011

Preserving and Displaying the “Bat-Wing Ship”

Early in June, staff of the Paul E. Garber Preservation, Restoration and Storage Facility slowly and carefully moved the center section of the Horten H IX V3 all-wing jet fighter from storage into the restoration and preservation shop. 

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Horten H IX V3

Photo opportunity with Mercury astronauts

WHAT:          Photo opportunity with Mercury astronauts WHEN:          Thursday, June 23. Press call time: 5:45 p.m.  Photo: 6 p.m. WHERE:       National Air and Space Museum, Seventh Street and Independence Avenue S.W. ...

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Civil War-era balloon on the National Mall

WHAT:       Civil War-era balloon on the National Mall WHEN:       Saturday, June 11               10 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Civil War balloon               1 p.m.: Dedication ceremony for a plaque commemorating Thaddeus Lowe WHERE...

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Kevin Knapp as Thaddeus Lowe
Fri, May 27 2011

Another Journey for John Glenn’s Ansco Camera

Nearly 50 years ago, John Glenn purchased a camera at a drug store that served as the first astronomical experiment performed by a human in space. That three-orbit voyage for Glenn included two cameras, one the Ansco he purchased and the other a Leica supplied by NASA. The flight not only kicked off decades of orbital experiences for U.S. astronauts, but also science experiments, observations, and thousands of rolls of film and digital files created through hand-held photography. The results of those experiments and the photos taken are what people left on Earth use even today to understand human spaceflight.

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Another Journey for John Glenn’s Ansco Camera

"NASA | ART: 50 Years of Exploration" Opens at the National Air and Space Museum

You don't have to be a rocket scientist or an astronaut to work for NASA. Engineers, pilots, physicists, astrobiologists, and, yes, artists, too, have helped further the mission of the space agency. In 1962, NASA administrator James E. Webb invited a group of artists to illustrate and interpret...

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Chip and Batty Explore Space in NASA | ART
Fri, May 20 2011

Reengineering Humanity

Since Howard McCurdy and I co-authored Robots in Space: Technology, Evolution, and Interplanetary Travel (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008), I have been interested in the possible merger of humans and robots into a single entity to undertake space exploration.

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Robonaut

National Air and Space Museum Presents 2011 “Become a Pilot” Day

Visitors Can Meet Pilots, See Aircraft, Welcome a New Airplane to the National Collection and Tweet About It Too The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum presents the 2011 "Become a Pilot" family day and aviation display Saturday, June...

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Fleet Model 2, Plane/Jane

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