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Behind the Scenes

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Thu, April 16 2020

Conserving the Creativity that Saved the Apollo 13 Astronauts

Conservator Lauren Gottschlich explores the conservation work recently done on a replica of the altered lithium hydroxide filter used during the Apollo 13 mission.

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Apollo 13 Lithium Hydroxide Canisters
Mon, February 3 2020

Conserving Michael Collins' Apollo 11 Razor

Conservation of Michael Collins' razor from the Apollo 11 mission presented conservators with a complex ethical dilemma for deciding the best treatment approach: how to arrest degradation while maintaining the historical elements of the artifact.

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Michael Collins Shaving Kit
Tue, December 31 2019

Top 5 Stories of 2019

2019 was a big year at the National Air and Space Museum, as we celebrated the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, commemorated the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion, and worked hard on our ongoing renovation. We shared stories about these projects and more on the blog this year. Let’s dive into five of the most popular stories of 2019.

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John F. Kennedy
Tue, November 26 2019

Conducting Planetary Research Here on Earth

Planetary scientist Emily Martin takes you behind the scenes of a recent field work trip to Iceland. 

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Field Work Selfie
Mon, November 4 2019

Farewell to the Zeiss Planetarium Projector

Since its opening, and until recent years, our Zeiss Model VIa optical planetarium projector has brought the wonder of the night sky to countless visitors. The Zeiss Company no longer services the over 40 year-old model, and though its stars are as sharp as ever, and its skies deep in their dramatic blackness, its celestial motors have become weary, so it has been retired in favor of an ever-improving digital projection system that offers many advantages to meet modern programming needs. The Albert Einstein Planetarium theater itself is also closing as our multi-year renovation progresses through the Museum, but it will eventually reopen as a fully digital experience. Now that we are saying good-bye to its original projector, the Zeiss Model VIa, the question is, of course, how did it get here

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Zeiss Projector
Mon, September 30 2019

The Power of Black and White Photography: Learning to See in Shades of Grey

A museum staff photographer reflects on photographing in black and white and learning to see in shades of grey.

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247-D Propeller
Fri, September 6 2019

The Many Lives of Buster the Air Racer

Since the earliest days of flight, air racing has been an exciting motorsports activity. We have in our collection many of the aircraft that made history by winning races and setting records, like Steve Wittman’s Special 20 Buster, which lived two lives in air racing and proved to be an inspiration for an entire class of air racers.

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The Many Lives of Buster the Air Racer

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Wittman Special 20 "Buster"
Thu, August 15 2019

Preserving Flak-Bait's Fabric Panels

To the best of our knowledge, Flak-Bait is the only World War II bomber of its kind to retain the original insulating fabric panels lining the interior of the forward fuselage. To preserve the original fabric, we performed a number of innovative conservation treatments.

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Preserving Flak-Bait's Fabric Panels

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Flak-Bait Cockpit After Fabric Conservation
Thu, August 8 2019

AirSpace Season 2|Ep.11
What's He Building?

Today we’re talking about a really cool project that brought together one former-Mythbuster, a couple of Smithsonian units, and makers across the country to reimagine an incredible piece of Apollo engineering.  

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AirSpace Season 2|Ep.11
What's He Building?

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Logo for AirSpace Podcast
Tue, July 16 2019

Conserving a Wearable Legacy

Before returning Neil Armstrong's Apollo 11 spacesuit to display in time for the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, it underwent extensive conservation and a state-of-the-art display case and mannequin was designed to protect it while on display.

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Conserving Neil Armstrong's Spacesuit

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