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Thu, October 14 2010

Chuck Yeager

On October 14, 1947, Charles E. “Chuck” Yeager became the first person to fly faster than the speed of sound in his Bell X-1, which he named Glamorous Glennis, in tribute to his wife. He reached a speed of 1,127 kilometers (700 miles) per hour, or Mach 1.06, at an altitude of 13,000 meters (43,000 feet).  

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Charles "Chuck" Yeager with Bell X-1
Tue, October 12 2010

Eugene J. Bullard

October 12, 2010, marks the forty-ninth anniversary of the death of Eugene Jacques Bullard at the age of 67. Bullard is considered to be the first African-American military pilot to fly in combat, and the only African-American pilot in World War I.

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Portrait of Eugene Bullard
Tue, October 5 2010

Seeing Beneath the Surface of the Moon

“Remote sensing” is a term used to describe many different types of observations carried out at a distance. Aerial photos, satellite images of the Earth and planets, and telescope views of our solar system are all forms of remote sensing used to understand geology, climate, hazards, and changes over time.

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Aristoteles (Lunar Crater)
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

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