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Tue, September 28 2010

The Howard Levy Photography Collection

The Archives of the National Air and Space Museum holds two million images in various photographic formats, covering the breadth and depth of the history of aviation and space flight.

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Howard “Howie” Levy
Tue, September 21 2010

Ballistic Missile Guidance on your Cell Phone?

If you don’t already own one, you’ve no doubt seen advertisements for them on television. I am referring to so-called “smartphones,” which can change the orientation of their display, from Portrait to Landscape, depending on how you hold them. They can do that because they contain a fingernail-sized chip inside, which senses the acceleration of gravity, and adjusts the display accordingly. Resourceful programmers have come up with a number of other applications, or “apps,” for these phones, which take advantage of the on-board ability to sense acceleration. If you only use a plain old-fashioned cell phone, you still have a number of these devices around you. Automobiles use them for airbag deployment, stability control, and braking systems.

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Titan Missile Guidance System
Sun, September 12 2010

She Had a Dream: Mae C. Jemison, First African American Woman in Space

Have you ever had a dream of what you wanted to do in life? How about a wish that you hoped every day would come true?  Were you ever truly inspired by something or someone at an early age that shaped the course of your life? Living a lifelong dream does not come to many, but for Dr. Mae Jemison, space travel was always an area of fascination.

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Mae Jemison
Fri, August 27 2010

Phase Two—The New Wing

Looking at the seemingly endless aisles of crates at the Paul E. Garber Restoration and Storage Facility, it is not a great stretch of the imagination to picture Indiana Jones scouring these narrow labyrinths for that anonymous wooden crate housing the notorious Ark.

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Garber Facility
Tue, August 24 2010

Quietly Soaring into History: First African American in Space

As August 30 approaches, a significant anniversary in American history may come along virtually unnoticed, just as it almost did twenty-seven years ago.

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Official STS-8 crew portrait
Thu, August 19 2010

The Legend of Amelia Earhart’s Disappearance

The mystery of Amelia Earhart’s disappearance somewhere over the Pacific Ocean in July 1937 during her around-the-world flight attempt persists to the present day, and is especially alive and well on the Internet

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Amelia Earhart's Last Flight Sheet Music Cover
Mon, August 16 2010

The Long, Lonely Leap

August 16, 2010 will mark the 50th anniversary of one of the most memorable aeronautical moments of my adolescence. I can still remember seeing the cover of Life magazine for August 29, 

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Kittinger Jump
Fri, August 13 2010

A ‘Spectacular’ Hoax Continues to Fool E-mail Readers

A claim that Mars will appear as large as the full moon to the naked eye has been circulating since 2003. Don't be fooled by the misinformation.

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Oppositions of Mars
Tue, August 10 2010

What are Your Favorite Aerospace History Conspiracy Theories?

We have been discussing at the National Air and Space Museum the possibility of pursuing an educational workshop on the place of conspiracy theories in modern America, especially as it relates to aerospace history but also in the broader context of our national history.

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Apollo 11 Saturn V Launch
Sat, August 7 2010

Thirtieth Anniversary - First Public Demonstration Of Solar-Powered Gossamer Penguin

On August 7, 1980, 30 years ago today, Janice Brown flew the Penguin almost 3.5 km (two miles) that day in 14 minutes, 21 seconds. This was the first sustained flight of a solar-powered aircraft and the longest Penguin flight since development had started on the aircraft two years earlier.

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Gossamer Penguin

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