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Apollo Program

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Tue, July 24 2018

Spaceflight and Surviving Shark Attacks

Shaq does shark week. Ronda Rousey against a bull shark. Bear Grylls faces off with … yes … a shark. Shark Week is full of celebrities having close encounters with one of the ocean’s greatest predators, but did you know early astronauts were also prepared for their own tussle with the fearsome fish?

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Shark Repellent, Project Mercury
Fri, July 20 2018

Looking Closer at the Saturn V

On July 20, 1969, a whole nation tuned in to see astronaut Neil Armstrong take one small step on the surface of the Moon, ushering in a new era of space exploration. But how did Armstrong and the Apollo 11 astronauts get to the Moon in the first place?

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Apollo 11 Saturn V Launch
Tue, June 12 2018

#ALLCAPS and Aerospace Achievement

When a team accomplishes what, at times, seemed impossible, it becomes a victory for all—an entire city or country, or all humankind. We see this in milestones throughout aviation history, and we celebrate those shared victories throughout our Museum. And when a sports team brings a championship to a city that hasn’t seen one in 25 years, the whole city comes out to celebrate. 

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Ellen Stofan Rocks the Red
Thu, May 17 2018

Remembering Tom Wolfe and The Right Stuff

Tom Wolfe, the author of The Right Stuff (1979), one of the most iconic literary books about spaceflight, died this week.

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Remembering Tom Wolfe and The Right Stuff

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The First American Astronauts - Mercury 7
Mon, April 9 2018

The Woman Who Got Real Food to Space

The woman who changed space food from “cubes and tubes” into the Apollo program’s astronaut-ready meals.

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Rita Rapp with Apollo Astronauts Ron Evans, Eugene Cernan, and Harrison “Jack” Schmitt
Thu, March 22 2018

Conserving Artifacts from Command Module Columbia

How the Museum's conservation team treated an Apollo 11 artifact, a medical accessory kit stowed aboard the Command Module Columbia during the historic lunar mission.

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Conserving Artifacts from Command Module Columbia

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Repairing a tear in the Apollo 11 medical accessory kit
Thu, February 1 2018

Reflections on Spaceflight and Memory

For those involved or interested in human spaceflight, the last week of January is a solemn time of remembrance, as we commemorate Apollo 1 and the Space Shuttle missions Challenger and Columbia. How does our Museum deal with the memory of such tragedies? 

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The Space Shuttle Challenger’s first launch, 1983
Fri, January 19 2018

John W. Young, an Astronaut’s Astronaut (1930-2018)

As an astronaut, John Young (1930-2018) was one of a kind. He was the first person to fly in space six times, the first person to circle the Moon alone, the first Space Shuttle mission commander, and the first to command another Space Shuttle mission.

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Astronaut John Young, 1965
Mon, December 11 2017

"We Choose to go to the Moon:" JFK's Moon Shot

As the American space program once again looks toward the Moon, we revisit President John F. Kennedy’s 1961 challenge to land a man on the Moon and return him safely to the Earth.

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Apollo 11: Buzz Aldrin and the U.S. flag on the Moon
Wed, November 1 2017

Real Stories of LEGO's "Women of NASA"

A new generation of aspiring astronauts and researchers can find inspiration in the LEGO® “Women of NASA” set. These scientific pioneers are part of our collection here at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, too.

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The "Women of NASA" Lego collection.

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